Written by Glo(w)
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to nurture an artist. Every ounce of energy put into creating ought to be met by support. As artists risk their own well-being in order to share stories that highlight the human experience, their community and environment has the power to ensure their success. Commonly, St. Louis has been characterized as a crab-filled bucket. The lack of support for artists can often make it seem as if our core creatives are being pulled down instead of being uplifted. However, in recent years, there has been an immense shift. Creatives are using their resourcefulness and innovation to structure their own villages.
Artists are their own best supporters. Each event that has been curated to highlight the many mediums that exist within the art world is typically filled with other creatives. How you present yourself directly correlates to the energy that you receive. For East St. Louis-based rapper Anthony Lucius, his strength and resilience shines through his work. As he recounts his relatable experiences, his focus on community remains evident. Each sound, perfectly placed within productions, is met with an automatic headbob. When the music is good, and your soul finds companionship in the lyrics, you cannot resist movement. Anthony Lucius uses honesty and wisdom as a vehicle to transport listeners into his everyday life. There is no lack of authenticity.
Get to know Anthony Lucius below and be sure to check out his highly regarded EP “Welcome to St. Lucius”.
For the record, what mediums of art do you partake in?
Recording Artist, Mixing/Engineering, Composer/Producer & Creator of AnthonyLucius.com.
How long have you been creating?
Started recording myself at 13. Started learning music theory at 15.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself through your creative process? What inspires you?
I don’t lie. My shit is my shit. I feel like being the best rapper doesn’t matter. For instance, they said MJ was the greatest, then Lebron came along to challenge that. No different than music. I feel if I stay consistent, I’ll get to where I’m going. So, I say what I wanna say. If you happen to like it, I appreciate it. I respect I ain’t for everybody.
As far as inspiration, I’m doing this from East Saint Louis, IL. My friends from St. Louis talk about my city like it is a war-zone. I’m just trying to change the perspective. That inspires me.
A lot of artists pull inspiration from past creations (like older music artists, movies, etc.). Do you do this at all? If so, what are some of your favorite eras to pull from?
No. It’s cool to take yourself there in someone’s art, to fully experience it. But, I just try to tell my story the best way possible. As far as eras, I grew up listening to everything from Ska genre (Sublime, 311, Slightly Stoopid), Motown classics & all things Hip-Hop. My siblings graduated in 2001. I grew up on Three Six Mafia & No Limit. I always tell people Three Six Mafia is underrated when folks speak Hip-Hop, from production to lyrics. Lord Infamous is one of my biggest influences on where I got my flow.
What’s on your playlist? Who are you listening to?
More local music than popular music. It is really important that I study the work being created around here. Like I said, I want to be a part of what is going on here in St. Louis. Other than that, just: NxWorries, TDE, Ska music (Sublime, 311, Slighty Stoopid) and all types of instrumentals.
What do you think about music’s classification of genres?
It is important to have. But at the same time, they get a little overboard. With the ’Alternative Hip-Hop?’ shit. That stuff can get corny.
What do you think about the way masculinity and femininity is presented in the media and hip-hop specifically?
We human at the end of the day. I don’t get caught up in the subject. Of course, we want things to be one way or this way. How about I respect you on how you treat me then if you have talent. It should be about Hip-Hop and the content not the appearance on things.
What larger themes exist in your music? What is the most important idea you want people to get from your art?
Showing your progression. If you not progressing and you’re just repeating yourself, you need to really think if this is what you wanna do. I’m very serious with my music. From the business to the production. Even with my $kwäD brothers, I always remind them to take this serious.
Someone is out here working just as hard. You gotta know how to utilize your strengths and know your weaknesses. I don’t go in the studio to reach, EVER! That’s the problem with the music sometimes. Some over worship the shit. Got folks really trying to fill shoes out here.
What about life? Family? I keep it real. It’s kids out here that look up to us. It’s about entertaining but also keeping yourself in check.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t put expectations on your work. Either it happens or it doesn’t. Don’t apply unnecessary pressure.
How do you think the creating process would be different if money wasn’t a factor?
PR is key! If I could get solid PR from a good firm/team, it would kill a lot of frustration with releasing content.
Do you think it’s important for other artists to congregate and work together?
Depends. If it works for them or that vision. But, the continued support from one another is key. That’s what makes cities like Atlanta dope to me. For example, how Donald Glover showed love to Migos. They push their culture, not everything has to mix because you do the same thing, whether it be music or art. Just go to someone’s event because you seen a post about it. Share their music to a friend. Don’t have to approach with the “we gotta collab” talk. Sometimes, people work better alone or with their circle. I think it is important for all of us to respect that.
Tell me about your dream project.
I’m already working on it. It’s a short-film/hip-hop musical. Currently composing the film score & writing the final script. Gonna take a lot of work from our end. But, we’re looking forward to executing it and see it come together.
When can we expect another project to be released?
Just getting ready for these shows this year. I do have a 5-track EP releasing with Radar Radio/The Pit LDN in London this summer. But my short film/musicial, I’m hoping to release it Spring/Summer 2018. I talked about it in the past. I’m making it happen now.
Is there anything else that you want people to know that they may not have gathered?
It’s not always about you, make sure you look out for your people & don’t be afraid to speak if you see me out.
For more updates and to listen to "Welcome to St. Lucius" visit anthonylucius.com.