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We live in an age where stunting has become more than a habit. It’s now a social media prerequisite, especially when it comes to young rappers who aspire to be larger than life. Their past work may inspire a lyric, maybe an interview reference, but so many would rather focus on their bright future than their sordid past.

Lute is an exception. On his newly-released project, West 1996, Pt. 2, the Charlotte, North Carolina rapper signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label delivers an entire project about life before rap became a viable career.

Before signing his life-changing deal, Lute had come to terms with West 1996, Pt. 2 serving as his final project. The decision was inspired by the birth of his daughter and the understanding that the role of a providing father was more important than the pursuit of rap dreams. The uncertainty that follows a career in music isn’t the safest foundation to raise a child upon. After all, she couldn’t eat dreams, or passion, or clout—she needed food and he needed money.


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Written by: Yoh31 for DjBooth.