Scranton-area rapper Lucas Hex to release new album, host Dec. 8 party
SCRANTON — After about a decade in the industry, Lucas Hex says he’s finally able to make the music he wants.
The Scranton-area rapper said he feels like he can be himself thanks to hip-hop being increasingly more open to experimentation.
“I didn’t realize until I heard Ghostemane and $uicideBoy$ that I could do what I wanted to,” said Hex of his musical influences.
Then, he added with a note of regret, “In a perfect world, I would’ve realized that before them, but what can you do?”
Hex will be releasing his first full-length record, titled “Blue Carolina,” on Dec. 7. The rapper said, in a way, it’s a culmination of his creative process up until this point, including his EP “Sermons,” released earlier this year.
“It feels like the natural progression of what I did on the EP,” he said. “The EP was me searching for my footing, and this album is me having it.”
And Hex believes the changing landscape of hip-hop has had a lot to do with his evolution as a musician.
“Back in 2010 or 2011, everyone wanted to sound like Kanye, everyone wanted to sound like Drake,” he said, explaining his early material fit in with that pattern. “There wasn’t as much experimentation in the mainstream.”
But after the explosion in popularity of emo rap over the past three years or so, Hex said there’s more room for blending of genres.
“Now I can let my metal band roots come through,” he explained.
Hex plans to do exactly that on “Blue Carolina.” Despite it being a hip-hop album, Hex said he spent much of the time while writing the songs listening to the music of Norwegian black metal bands like Mayhem and Burzum.
“Early black metal albums wouldn’t even have structure,” Hex said. “That’s something I always wanted to f—- with.”
Hex said black metal’s style of meandering, loosely structured songs is something that appealed to him greatly. But he also said the more tightly-knit structures of punk rock appealed to him, too, and that both influences appear on the record.
“Some songs don’t even have choruses, but others have really catchy choruses,” he said. “I wanted to experiment.”
Dec. 8 release party
Hex will be putting all of his influences on display at a mixed genre show to celebrate the release of his new album.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the rapper will descend on Stage West, located at 301 N. Main Ave. in Scranton’s West Side neighborhood.
Hex will be supported by fellow rapper Sir Polo, singer TySoul — who Hex described as having “the most soulful voice I’ve ever heard” — along with metal acts Traverse the Abyss and The Aegean.
The rapper said attendees will see him experiment with the sort of theatrics one might find more familiar coming from a metal act.
“Theater wasn’t something you could do in rap,” Hex said. And while he wasn’t willing to divulge the secrets of what sort of theatrics attendees can expect, he cited bands like Slipknot as sources of inspiration.
Doors open at Stage West at 7:30 p.m., and Hex said the music will start promptly at 8 to ensure all the acts have time to perform.
Tickets will be $5 at the door, but Hex said he has a limited number of free tickets available. Those interested should contact him through his Facebook fan page.
Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan