Curated by LaZedrick Blackshire | @blusatire
In an older article, I talked about Marvel’s upcoming program “Cloak and Dagger” and spoke about how I was looking forward to it. Well, when a sneak peek dropped earlier this year, what caught my attention was the music in the background. A melodic beat and smooth rhythm to set the tone and anticipation for what will be an exciting show. Upon doing some research, I found out that the artist that created the track was Lucien Parker. Lucien is a hip-hop artist/songwriter from Minneapolis who currently has a project out entitled Chapter V: Tireless. I was able to catch up with Lucien Parker and interview him to get insight on who he is and his musical inspirations.
Zed: Hey man, thanks for giving us some of your time to talk. My first question for you is, can you give us an explanation of your name and the meaning behind it and just a little about yourself?
Lucien: My name is my actual full name, so I just went with that. I mean the cliché answer is I felt like I was giving people me as far as making music. Honestly, I think it’s an interesting name and it flows. I didn’t like my name growing up as a kid, but as I got older, toward my senior year of high school I started to appreciate my name more. I’m from South Minneapolis, but I was born in San Antonio. I played a lot of sports as a kid and wasn’t really into making music. I was an avid music listener, but not necessarily hip-hop. Hip-hop was something I kind of found on my own, so I got the appreciation and love for it myself. I went to UW Madison as a part of the first wave program. And if you don’t know what that is, it is a Multicultural art scholarship initiative to get kids from all around a full tuition… but I was there for two years and dropped out to do music full time.
Zed: I see you’ve always had a diverse background. What do you think sets you apart from other artists?
Lucien: I’m focused on making my own music and making something that I appreciate and value more that what people think I should do. I use to think about things like that in the past. What makes me unique? Honestly, everyone is unique to me.. There are things that sound the same but everyone has their own story. So I try not to think about what’s going to set me apart and just create as much as possible to let people find what they like about my music.
Zed: I know you say you like to create, is that what got you into music?
Lucien: Part of it is. Music is a freedom of expression. Another part of it is having a platform to send a message. Being able to help guide and aid in discussion of social topics that are important like homophobia, police brutality, and domestic violence. It’s a place to release. The same way that it’s nice to listen to different genres because it can be pivotal at different emotional times, its just as therapeutic to make different types of music. It gives me the ability to release that from myself into something that I would listen to if I were a fan, because maybe that would be healing to someone else who was listening.
Zed: I rock with that for real! People listen to things according to how they are feeling at the moment.
Lucien: People forget that fear, sadness, and anger are core emotions along with being happy or overjoyed. We go through experiencing all these different emotions because that’s life. Same with music. You should be experiencing and listening to everything. That’s what music is for. We are meant to co-exist. People need different shit.
Zed: So your new single is here. 007. So are you a James Bond fan? What was the influence of it on this new track?
Lucien: Aw man, I’m a huge fan… my dad and me use to watch every James Bond movie I can think of. This track came out of nowhere. I was in the studio with the homie Bravo (shout out to Bravo, he just dropped a new album “Bravo BLVD”). But we were just sitting in the studio, running through beats and I think we had the red lights on; it kind of felt like we were undercover, because our studio is underground in a basement of a warehouse. We always feel like we’re working behind the scenes when we’re in the darkness. It kind of goes with the image of 007 agents who have a mission, a purpose, or a goal and moving silently behind the scenes…don’t need a lot of attention or pull from social media…we just work. That’s how it started. It’s an interesting thing for black men, especially to be emotional in spaces. It’s one thing to go off on a party beat … to showcase the ability to flow and yet still be emotional in a hard environment.
Zed: I heard you mention someone in the studio with you, are there any artists that you’ve worked with or like to work with that you cosign?
Lucien: I definitely cosign Bravo, 100 percent. He’s super talented, a really hard worker, and incredibly humble. He is very curious in terms of experimentation of rules in writing. He is the type of artist I feel can go places because they are willing to throw themselves into something without the fear of failing. Another artist I cosign is Why Khaliq from St. Paul as he is one of my influences as a songwriter and as a creative brain. I mean, the guy literally wrote out his last two short films based around his albums (one being called The Mustard Seed).
Zed: Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing?
Lucien: I really like watching movies. I learn a lot from the music and stylistic choices. I try to watch good movies like Tarantino movies or documentaries on important topics. I love laser tag and playing with my golden retriever. I like traveling and cooking. I’m excited about Black Panther and marvel movies in general. Marvel comics were my childhood. Black Panther is super important. There is an actual budget behind it and we have black people playing US. Not on some God of Egypt type shit.
Zed: Anymore upcoming projects?
Lucien: After 007, I will start releasing more singles and videos. Won’t say the name just year. I’m not really focused on a project just yet.
Zed: When is your favorite song? What is on your playlist right now?
Lucien: My favorite song to listen to right now is “Scrub” by Pnb Rock. It’s a really well put together song. I’m a mix engineer too, so I appreciate very good quality and experimentation sonically with vocals and his voice is very versatile.
Zed: Well thank you for letting us interview you and giving us an opportunity to get to know you.
Lucien: I appreciate you for reaching out to me on twitter and interviewing me. I appreciate you for listening to my music. Feel free to reach out to me anytime.