Illustration by Mia Turner
Rappers nowadays seem to fall into two groups – rappers that emphasize beats and flow over skillful lyrics, and rappers that emphasize a message.
Lou The Human is the outsider. His beats are simple, and his rhymes and wordplay complex, but his lyrical content is on the edgier side — he doesn’t really have much of a “message.” Lou The Human is a rapper from Staten Island, New York. Nine months ago, he put out his first song, “Brink,” a twisted lyrical masterpiece with no hooks, no melody, and a simple beat — it was pure bars. Humaniac is his first ever album, and it shows a lot of potential for Lou’s future.
Lou The Human’s rapping style reminds one of Tyler, the Creator’s or Earl Sweatshirt’s old work. His songs are lyrically complex and clever, while remaining dark and gritty. An example of this is on his song “Macklemore”: “I done tripped so hard/When they tell me to tie my shoes I get flashbacks dog.”
The wordplay here is standard in Humaniac, and it makes his songs fun to listen to. One thing that Lou excels with are his rhyme schemes. He weaves rhymes together throughout his lines so often that you don’t notice when one rhyme pattern ends and the next begins. He treats topics and stories like he does rhymes — stringing them together until all you can do is join him on a ride through some funny, but dark, lyrics. Lou is extremely proficient with his lyrics and flows, but he’s grimy and aggressive as well — this isn’t “conscious” rap or pretentious at all. Humaniac as a whole is weird, warped and moody.
One example of Lou’s inexperience in this album is that the tone and style of the album stays constant throughout — at some points it’s hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. Another thing is that throughout this album, Lou uses different voices to signify voices in his head. It could be a cool idea if used rarely, but it’s very overused at times, and they take away from one of Lou’s biggest strengths: his voice and vocal inflections. These issues show that Lou has a bit of a way to go to becoming a rap icon.
In Humaniac, Lou shows a lot of potential for future work through his lyrical and rhyming skill, wordplay, and flow. A few issues show this is his first project, but those can be overlooked as Lou develops. Hopefully he matures into writing lyrics with a little more substance, like Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator, but Humaniac clearly shows that the underlying talent is definitely there. If you want to listen to the first album by an up-and-coming rapper so you can brag when he blows up, I’d definitely recommend Humaniac.