Lute – West1996 [Video x Download]


Charlotte native Lute and his ForeverFC affiliates have been bubbling under the surface of my adopted Hometown for quite a while now.

It was just a matter of time before people caught on to what I’ve known for the better part of the last decade. There is most assuredly more to NC Hip-Hop than just Little Brother, 9th Wonder or those within their circle and on the recently released “West1996” project, Lute and his crew aim to prove just that.

Intoning his rhymes in that special Charlotte dialect and cadence that you’d have to be from Carolina in order to truly catch all the inflections contained within in, Lute kicks a seminal Hip-Hop train of thought over an overlooked PeteStrumental.

Check the visuals directed by Fresh Scenes.

Later in the tape finds him spinning tales of residing on the Westside of the QC over smoother production than you’d normally hear if you ever drove through those blocks. Lute begins to sketch the listener an outline of how some people grind it out here by notating the sometimes not-so-legal activities on well known (at least here) streets such as Freedom Drive and Nations Ford, the mental hustle some females go through in order to maintain rent, food, college and single parenthood and the cause and effect of the circumstances young men go through while gaining Metropolitan respect.

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Directly afterwards comes what instantly becomes the clear stand out of the 11 tracks. A straight banger where Lute brings a realism that’s universal yet completely North Cack grown. With lyrics that truly give the listener a “slice of life” retrospect into the atmosphere of the local landscape, topics range from the unemployment rate and it’s crippling effect on the city, a mother explaining to her offspring the harsh reality of the household finances and even the 22 year old reminiscing on having to brandish iron after school just to keep the shoes on his feet.

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Grab a copy of Lute’s release from the direct link HERE and never mind the artwork and what album cover your Hip-Hop purist mind may think he’s trying to bite instead of pay homage to. Let the music do it’s thing.

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