Artists such as Don Trip, Project Pat, Young Dolph, and Yo Gotti have left tremendous impacts on the Memphis rap scene, but none of these artists have had the audacity to name a record “Whiskey for Breakfast.”
Matt Lucas, 25-year-old rapper and producer, has made waves after dropping the trippy music video for "Ea$t Side Nights/Home" on Youtube. The song is the first single from his upcoming project “Whiskey For Breakfast: A Day in the Life of Matt Lucas,” and has since been featured in The Memphis Flyer.
Lucas is a native of Hickory Hill, a southeast Memphis neighborhood. The Overton High graduate says his surroundings first got him into music.
“I saw a lot of interesting things,” he said. “The area turned into a place of high-crime and poverty. Just seeing my environment and the people around me sparked that interest.”
Lucas also said family gave him a love for music.
“My dad was really old-school, so he was big into soul and funk records,” he said. “I remember he used to play a lot of Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, and Marvin Gaye. I still listen to those guys today.”
Many artists can remember a single moment that pushed them into the genre they’re currently making music in. For Lucas, an entire period of time influenced his decision to become a rapper.
“I remember watching MTV one day when I was like five or six and I saw the video for Nas- ‘It ain’t hard to tell,” he said. “Just seeing that kind of sucked me into rap. Also, me being alive when Tupac passed away. It’s kind of crazy to remember where you were when you heard the news and then fast forward to see a movie about him. I knew from then on that this was what I wanted to do.”
Lucas first started rapping in the classrooms of his elementary school.
“I remember a guy use to just make a beat on the table and we would take turns just freestyling,” he said. “When it was my turn I would just say some crazy stuff. Whatever came to mind.”
After he started rapping, Lucas began producing at a young age. He recalled an incident with his brother.
“When I was 14, I remember my brother had FL Studio on his laptop,” he said. “He told me after he left the room to not mess with his stuff. I wasn’t trying to hear all that so I went through his laptop and starting playing around. I made a couple beats and it just kind of went from there.”
Lucas’ "Ea$t Side Nights/Home" follows the emcee through car-rides and parties, dancing enthusiastically and spitting Kanye-esque rhythms, but he said that tough times actually led him to coming up with the name of his upcoming project, “Whiskey for Breakfast.”
“I was really going through it man,” he said. “My best friend Adrian committed suicide. We did everything together. He was one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. Combine his death with me being broke, my other friends moving away, and having relationship problems with my girl ...I just felt alone.”
Lucas said he turned to alcohol during this time period.
“I started drinking whiskey heavy,” he said. “I remember one time I had got drunk around nine in the morning. It was the only way I felt I could escape my problems.”
Lucas has since gotten clean, but that dark time inspired his upcoming project. He says the "Ea$t Side Nights/Home" single, directed by Rahimhotep Ishakarah, symbolizes the vices that he has faced over the course of his life.
“I came up with the whole concept myself,” he said. “I basically wanted to show me facing my problems, whether it was alcohol, depression, or relationships. Throughout the video you see me try to escape my problems, then face my demons head on and figure out a solution. That’s what life is about to me.”