Destination Jam: Top 5 Joyner Lucas songs that celebrate the talented rapper and producer's striking hip-hop game
The rapper recently became a trending topic on social media after sharing some tender moments with singer Ashanti in the music video for 'Fall Slowly'
Joyner Lucas has consistently been one of the best rappers and producers in the hip-hop game for a while, spitting bar after bar with his trademark swagger and incendiary flow. In the last few years, Lucas has become well known for creating viral remixes of popular hip-hop songs, changing up tracks by everyone from Kendrick Lamar and 21 Savage to Lil Pump and DaBaby. Besides being nominated for two Grammy awards, he's already collaborated with some of the hottest names in the business, including Eminem, Logic, Chris Brown, Young Thug, Fabolous, Tory Lanez, Timbaland, Ashanti, Will Smith and Tech N9ne.
He's even had a history of feuds with rappers like Logic, Hopsin and Tory Lanez, and then making peace with them, which invariably resulted in some interesting collaborative tracks. Of course, Lucas recently became a trending topic on social media after sharing some tender moments with singer Ashanti in the music video for 'Fall Slowly', which released on September 2 as the preview single for his upcoming EP 'Evolution'. So, let's give props to Joyner Lucas for his spectacular creative efforts in today's Destination Jam playlist.
Destination Jam - Joyner Lucas Edition
This is one of Lucas's most respected tracks, which released back in 2016 from his fourth mixtape '508-507-2209', which marked his major-label debut with Atlantic Records. Lucas had actually written this song after a friend of his committed suicide, and he poured out his emotions into this heartfelt track. The first verse is rapped from the perspective of his friend who took his own life, and the next verse is Joyner's response to his friend's inconceivable actions. After the song's release, it rapidly gained a cult following, and huge numbers of people corresponded with the rapper to thank him for giving them closure on some difficult times in their lives. Lucas later admitted that he made this song in order to help suicidal people, saying - "I have to relate to them some way; I have to give them that platform on which they can also understand, from the outside looking in, how other people may feel when they’re gone. So I wanted to touch on the issue in a different way, to kind of make the listener understand completely where I was coming from. I wanted to make it more personal."
'I'm Not Racist'
This was probably the first song that made bi-racial Lucas a household name, even though he had steadily been making a name for himself since releasing 'Ross Capicchioni' back in 2015. 'I'm Not Racist' was released in 2017 via Atlantic Records, and the song quickly went viral thanks to its eye-opening social commentary and the way it tackled race relations in America. Speaking from the perspective of a White man first and then a Black man, Joyner Lucas went in-depth into the racial divide and systemic racism that plagued the country with some unfiltered opinions from both sides of the fence. These provocative lyrics and aired-out stereotypes certainly caught the attention of the nation, since these candid, radical thoughts were usually considered too taboo to be brought up in normal conversation. The polarizing song was certified gold and went on to be nominated for a Grammy at the 61st Grammy Awards, where it lost to an equally great song called 'This Is America' by Childish Gambino.
Written with the producer TheSkyBeats, 'I Love' was unveiled as a preview single in 2018 from Joyner Lucas's debut full-length studio album, 'ADHD' (2020), which was released via his self-owned label, Twenty Nine Music Group. The album's title was actually a reference to Lucas being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a child. In the song, which was first premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show, Lucas references the things that he loves, such as his passion for rapping, while simultaneously taking aim at his critics and detractors. "I love it when they count me out, I'm a soldier / Love when they think I ain't cool 'cause I'm sober." He then concludes that he's not someone to be messed with by declaring, "Don't play with me, this the only thing I love." The song was later certified gold by the RIAA in February in 2020 and has over 68 million views on Youtube alone.
This is one of Lucas's most famous collaborations (with due respect to Eminem), since it signaled the end of a longstanding beef with the rapper Logic, who recently announced his retirement this year. Lucas and Logic had previously traded barbs and diss tracks aimed at each other in a passive-aggressive feud that had stretched into several years. But they finally made peace when they released this amazing joint collaborative effort in 2019, as the third single from the album 'ADHD'. The song and accompanying militant-styled video didn't actually take aim at the infamous terrorist group ISIS, but instead seems to clap back at the haters and doubters that the rappers had faced while honing their rap game. The self-aware song also cannily references 'What's Beef' by the Notorious BIG in the second verse, and the rappers go on to talk about the common ground they've discovered while singing about everything from ADHD and critics to women and their success.
This track was released in March 2020 as the ninth single from his album 'ADHD'. As soon as it was released, Lucas quickly went viral, thanks to his incredibly creative music video that paid tribute to the rapper and actor Will Smith. The 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' star had actually been one of Lucas's biggest inspirations while he growing up, and in the song, Lucas acknowledged that Smith had been a huge influence on him, saying the box office star was his idol "and he doesn't even know it." In the video, Lucas paid a well-crafted homage to his boyhood hero by dressing up as him in some of his most iconic acting roles, which included appearances in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Bad Boys', 'Men In Black', 'I, Robot', 'I Am Legend', and 'The Pursuit of Happyness', among others. Smith was so impressed with Lucas' touching tribute that he even gave him a shout-out on social media, saying he wanted to meet the talented rapper someday. Both stars later collaborated on a remix of the original 'Will' song, which released in May 2020.