Gary Lucas is an American hip-hop artist, poet, and lyricist. He is more popular by his stage name Joyner Lucas. A native of Massachusetts, Lucas developed a deep love for music when he was quite young. He was writing his own lyrics under the pseudonym G-Storm by the time he turned seven and began recording his music after he turned ten years old. His first collaboration was with his uncle, who was not many years older than him. Lucas later briefly made music under the pseudonym Future Joyner but stopped using it when the rapper Future gained prominence. In 2011, he released his first solo mixtape, titled ‘Listen 2 Me’, through Dead Silences record label. In the subsequent years, he put out two other mixtapes through Dead Silences, ‘Low Frequency Oscillators’ in 2013 and ‘Along Came Joyner’ in 2015, before signing to Atlantic Records. In 2017, he released his fourth mixtape, ‘508-507-2209’. Lucas has also worked on one collaborative album, ‘Workprint: The Greatest Mixtape of All Time’. In late 2017, Lucas released the non-album single ‘I’m Not Racist’, a track that garnered much attention for its controversial and race-related content.
Joyner Lucas was in his teens when he adopted the pseudonym, Future Joyner. In 2007, he and Cyrus tha Great created a group called Film Skool Rejekts and put out their first collaborative album ‘Workprint: The Greatest Mixtape of All Time’ in the same year
On May 13, 2011, he put out his first mixtape, ‘Listen 2 Me’ through Dead Silences record label. It has 19 tracks. The production duties were performed by Frank Dukes, Audible Doctor, Lord Quest, Apollo Brown, Cyrus Tha Great, Vokab & Big Pops, Young Cee, DJ Prince, and G Mogul.
He released his second mixtape, ‘Low Frequency Oscillators’, on October 3, 2013. Comprised of 18 tracks, the mixtape was created to demonstrate Lucas’ ability to make his own music. His aim, on this project, was to reach out to his ever-increasing group of fans and touch their lives with well-executed, innovative, and entertaining music.
He decided to change his stage name after Atlanta-based rapper Future garnered popularity, picking Joyner Lucas. On April 5, 2015, ‘Along Came Joyner’ was released. The album was quite successful as was one of its single, ‘Ross Capicchioni’. Furthermore, its success brought him the opportunity to appear in the 2015 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher.
On September 21, 2016, Lucas signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. On June 16, 2017, he released his fourth mixtape and the first one through Atlantic Records, ‘508-507-2209’, the title of which was inspired by his own phone number. This was his commercial debut and the mixtape contained 16 songs. According to Lucas, it took him two years to make the mixtape. He would often come up with records, not like them, scrap them, and start over again. The lead single ‘I’m Sorry’ was released on August 5, 2015. The music video for the song was released about a week later, on 16 August, on his official YouTube channel. It has garnered over 40 million views to date. Music videos for four more singles--‘Ultrasound’, ‘Just Like You’, ‘Forever’, and ‘Winter Blues’—were released over the course of the next two years.
On November 28, 2017, Lucas released the non-album single, ‘I’m Not Racist’. The track has two distinctive parts. In the first part, he raps from the perspective of a white Trump supporter, whereas in the second part, he raps from the point of view of a black man. It is important to note here that Lucas is bi-racial. Throughout the track, an ambient trip-hop beat plays on.
‘I’m Not Racist’ is his most successful track to date, as well as the most controversial. It was first uploaded on his YouTube channel where it has accumulated over 85 million views. It has been dubbed as “polarizing”. Many critics wrote that the track highlighted the necessity of conversation about races while others felt that it was "clichéd" and "cheesy" and remarked that it oversimplified the debate about race by reinforcing stereotypes.
He is presently working on a collaborative album titled ‘Angels & Demons’ with Chris Brown. It is slated to be released in late 2018. Two singles have been released from the album: ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘I Don’t Die’.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Joyner Lucas was born on August 17, 1988 in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has two siblings. At some point, his parents divorced and his mother remarried and his stepfather played a significant role in his upbringing. As a youth, he was inspired by the likes of Eminem, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Method Man. He studied at South High Community School in Worcester.
He began harboring hip-hop aspirations when he was a child. When he was only seven years old, he began using the moniker G-Storm and started writing his own rhymes. He later worked with his uncle, Cyrus tha Great, who is only a few years his senior, on multiple music projects.
Lucas has a son who is often mentioned in his songs.