By Cameron Lee
August 25, 2017
It’s been a minute since we’ve been blessed with new music from Charlotte rapper, Lute. Since signing with J. Cole’s Dreamville Records in late 2015 the Queen City native has been quiet with new material. Since his highly acclaimed 2012 mixtape West 1996 fans have been clamoring for new music from the former Forever FC Charlotte rap collective member.
Lute shared a candid Instagram post letting his fans know that “West 1996 Pt. II” is finished and coming soon.
Man.. I’m excited as fuck lol .. not only because I’m bout to drop this song tonight at 12:00 from my up and coming project but because I can tell my fans and friends who been rocking with me since 2012 when I dropped west 1996 part1… that west 1996 part 2 is actually here and done..complete…finished…sample cleared…wrapped up and coming soon 😂😂.. but nah really it’s been a long road that past few years but I’m hear for it all . And like I always tell ib ..cole .. and my brothers Big pooh and dho I appreciate what they do and the opportunity it’s time to get it.. not only for myself but my daughter and my city lets go 🙏🏾🙏🏾.
“I named the project West 1996 because I’m from the west (Charlotte) and I fell in love with hip-hop in 1996,” Lute reveals. “I recreated the Nas cover because I felt like this was gonna be my ’hood’s Illmatic. My perspective was just talking about growing up and the music I loved. I didn’t expect anything from it, but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it blew up,” said Lute.
After months of silence about new music, we finally find out the real story behind the albums delay and how the Dreamville Records deal came to fruition. Lute sent a copy of West 1996 Pt. II to a few a friends and associates, including Dreamville filmmaker and Charlotte native Scott Lazer (Director of J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only and Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming), who passed it along to Cole. The night before the release date, Lute received a text from J. Cole saying he’d heard and loved the album and wanted to help take it to another level. The two spoke, and much to the dismay of his eager fans, Lute ended up holding the project.
After spending a summer with J. Cole on the Forest Hills Drive Tour, his Dilla-inspired track “Still Slummin’,” was included on the Revenge Of The Dreamers II compilation and was well-received. In December of 2015, it was announced that Lute was officially signed to Dreamville Records.
Although West 1996 Pt. II was already completed when Lute got signed, it was further delayed due to some sample clearance issues. After going back to the drawing board, tweaking song structures, swapping out instrumentals and redoing some hooks, West 1996 Pt. II will finally be arriving soon.
The album features production contributions from Grammy award-winner Cam O’bi (“Ford’s Prayer” and “Premonition” feat. Earthgang), Shiggy (“Home” feat. Elevator Jay and “Git Up” feat. GQ), Elite (“Ambitions”) and Save Allen (“Morning Shift,” “Crabs In A Barrel” and “Livin’ Life” feat. High I’m Ry). The new single released today, “Juggin’,” is also produced by Save Allen.
Music video for ‘Juggin’ (released on 8/30)