Band of the Day

2012.09.01

Luckyiam

An early student of the dope art of West Coast hip hop shines as a solo artist
We’ve been talking about tomorrow, and it’s all the same. Now, it’s time to move the things that’s standing our way.
lyrics from Another Day

Luckyiam, a hip hop heavyweight from the West Coast underground scene who emerged in the early ‘90s, brought about some hard-hitting, game-changing contributions to the rap industry. He started out in Los Angeles, but Lucky hit his prime in Northern California after forming The Mystik Journeymen with rapper Sunspot Jonz and seizing the indie-rap movement. The duo’s early days date back to 1994, when they sold mixtapes on the streets and put on shows in Oakland. The Journeymen joined up with The Grouch in 1996 and set off on a European tour. Eventually, the trio banded together with 3 Melancholy Gypsys from Los Angeles to invent their arguably most well known namesake, The Living Legends, in the late ‘90s. Since then, the Legends co-founder has solo toured internationally with the likes of Atmosphere and performed at events like the Coachella Music Festival in 2008.

South Central Los Angeles in the early 90s is to underground hip hop what Brooklyn is to indie rock today. Places like the Good Life Cafe became hot beds for young MCs to demonstrate their mic skills. Like our 12/15/11 featured act, Freestyle Fellowship, the six members of the underground hip hop group Living Legends were part of this scene. The peak of this scene might be long over, but the music lives on in rappers like Luckyiam, who was a founding member of Living Legends. Earlier this year, he released his fifth solo album, Time 2 Get Lucky. Though it features guest appearances from rising hip hop stars like Del the Funky Homosapien, Scarab, The Grouch, Sleepy Will, and Lana Shea, it’s Luckyiam who holds everything down with his chilled, expert flow, truly shining as a solo artist. As he’s been a member of decades of hip hop history, we asked Luckyiam to share one of his earliest and most meaningful music experiences, and how it’s shaped him as the artist he is today. Read on for his story:

"When I was a very young boy my Aunt Sharon took me with her to a very large concert at Dodger Stadium. The concert happened to be The Jackson 5, all together! Yeah, yeah, yeah, this story probably gives my age away but oh well! Like I said I was very young, but the impact of Michael Jackson's showmanship etched itself into my core. I was awestruck. I've seen countless concerts since then and nothing has ever come close (Pink Floyd at the Oakland Coliseum was pretty amazing though). This night, however, the night of The Jackson 5 concert, changed me forever. It let me know that I wanted to be an entertainer; Hip-hop just so happened to be the vehicle I would use. Although, if I could sing - like sing well in front of people - I'd never say a rap into a microphone ever again in my life! In my opinion singers harness the power to captivate the world, and with the right lyrics and harmonies they can change that world. Oh did I mention the choreography?! It was ridiculous! The moves were so on point that the entire production seemed flawless, from start to finish. These things combined shaped my attitude towards rehearsals and live shows. I don't know what else to say besides that The Jackson 5 are to blame for the Luckyiam you witness today. Thank you all for listening, and thanks to my Aunt Sharon!"