Miami-based Rapper, Felipe Luciano, has a journey that has given his music an edge that it would otherwise lack. He first discovered music in what can only be described as a moment of sheer poignancy. His grandmother taught him the chords to “Lean On Me,” in what sounds like it could be a standout scene from a strong biopic. After some run-ins with the law, Felipe reinvented himself into the gritty and philosophic Rapper that he is today. His newest album, Heavy Is The Head, explores themes of redemption, hope, love, and regret.
At ten tracks in length, Heavy Is The Head has a surprisingly modest run time of 29 minutes. Felipe goes for a deep, low groove that characterizes the tone of the album. It’s less bleak than you might think, but it’s also unflinching, unfiltered, and uncensored. “Tell Me Why,” which features guest vocals from Killa Twan, starts off contemplatively enough but soon shifts into something taunting and then downright misogynistic. There are some references in this piece that are rather chilling, and it is likely to be a highly polarizing track.
The classically tinged “Speakerphone” reminds us why we are here talking about Felipe in the first place. His phrasing and delivery on this track instantly establish his skill and credibility. There are astronomically few emcees who could handle a piece like “Speakerphone,” let alone compose it. It’s borderline amusing, as Felipe implores us in the most polite way he is capable of doing so, to please not put him on speakerphone. Go out of your way to check this one out, as it may be the most memorable and novel track on Heavy Is The Head.
Speaking of novel, “Whole Lotta” is by far the shortest track on the record. Occupying the penultimate spot, it almost seems like a palette cleanser to make way for the inevitable shock of “Tell Me Why.” Felipe shows off both his speed and agility on “Whole Lotta,” as well as his sense of humor. In “Dear Summer,” Felipe becomes increasingly more revelatory as the song progresses. I was raised by killers/politicking/discussing murder over dinner. We are reminded that the true origins of a life of violence are almost always cyclical.
Originally hailing from North Carolina, Felipe Luciano has fully graduated from his grassroots with Heavy Is The Head. He has poised himself to become a Tony Montana-like figure that he has always felt was his kismet. The difference is that he’s learned from not only the mistakes of others but, more importantly, his own. Heavy Is The Head is most certainly an R-Rated affair, and you’ll likely find yourself grimacing on more than one occasion. What is certain is that Felipe Luciano understands not only the prestige of the crown but the burden of its weight in gold. Heavy Is The Head is now available.