Although Seattle rapper Fatal Lucciauno has a mellow drawl, it doesn't mean he can't get crazy - remember, it's the calm ones that need to be watched closest. Lucciauno's debut, The Only Forgotten Son, which dropped in June, is packed full of seething tales of his rise from poverty, crime, and drug slanging all the way to what he hopes shall pan out to be rap greatness. With a flow which sounds something like Shyne meets Lloyd Banks, plus an enormous chip on his shoulder, Fatal L. is here to keep hustling like a true rap Don. Check "Hard Times" for a taste of the concrete hard flows spewing from Lucciauno's rough Seattle streets
"Fatal Lucciauno was born Rahmeece Chevosier Howell... he was born in Chicago, Illinois, before he moved to Seattle, Washington... as a child, Fatal dealt with homelessness, drug dealing, and a lot of anger... this is his story... all these events are true... parental discretion advised..."
So kicks off The Only Forgotten Son, the outstanding new album from Sportn' Life's newest face, Fatal Lucciauno. And right off the bat, Fatal connects the dots between his deep street pedigree and an upbringing full of poverty, pain, and disillusionment. It's easy to forget that so-called gangsta rap once provided the most telling commentary in hiphop, but Lucciauno clearly understands the tradition.
Not merely relying on a rep and a sneer, Fatal's confident voice and strident flow (which possesses shades of King Tee) crush a consistently ill sound bed of production from the likes of Vitamin D, D.Black, Brainstorm, I.Am.A.Dot, B.Brown, and Conman. His gangstafied lyrics touch on the expected topics, but with a discriminating eye for detail (check his skewering of corny rap convention on "Who Gives a Fuck"), surprisingly ill turns of phrase ("Rob Zombie sparker/Black Bob Barker") and an intimate understanding of the big picture behind the inner-city violence he willfully immerses himself in (peep the panorama of "Suicide Note"). However, he always makes sure the listeners are with him, often breaking the fourth wall to ask, "Do you get it?"
Fatal—with the aforementioned producers (among others) and a handful of great guest spots (including brilliant R&B performances from Darius Willrich, Zach Bruce, and Marissa)—has crafted an album that is totally absorbing and thoroughly listenable front to back. As the superior follow-up to D. Black's stellar The Cause & Effect, Forgotten Son just bolsters Sportn' Life's already ironclad rep for banging Seattle street hiphop and makes one look forward to their next release (the already buzzing J.Pinder); that's the kind of brand-building the big boys do. I won't even waste my breath telling you not to sleep. Soon you won't be able to.
I just finished a 4 hour flight which gave me plenty of quality time to dive into Seattle battle rapper Fatal Lucciauno. Born Rahmeece Chevosier Howell to respected Jazz and Gospel singer Josephine Howell, Fatal is pure street. His intelligent, hard-hitting preach is an emotional weave of the life he’s lead since a boy growing up on the streets of Chicago and Seattle. To be true, I don’t write nearly enough Rap/Hip-Hop reviews; I know the talent exists. It’s just not as apparent and often gets lost in the mainstream. That’s why I was more than pleasantly surprised when I launched into Fatal’s freshman CD ‘The Only Forgotten Son’ (2007 Sportin Life Records). Each track is wicked hard and laced with ghoulish lyrics and chill instrumentals. Pay particular mind to ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’, ‘Focus’ and ‘Won’t Change’, my 3 fav cuts. There are a few tracks that didn’t strike a note but all around Fatal Lucciauno will round out any discerning Rap aficionado’s collection. I picked up all 20 tracks at iTunes but you can also pick it up directly at Sportin Life Records.