Fresh off the release of his latest single ‘Higher Energy‘, an anthemic, powerfully resonating track in which the artist simply ignores the stereotypes of the hip-hop, Lucas Herwig (aka LLUCID) joins us today for a special selection of underrated R&B, alt hip hop / rap artists that deserve more love this year!
Both anthemic and powerful, the new track from LLUCID showcases his artistic versatility by smoothly transitioning from vitriolic nasal rap to grandiose choirs of proper crooning. The chorus, infused with an almost sacral energy, adds a layer of depth and spiritual resonance to the song. LLUCID’s ability to weave these various elements together cohesively is a testament to his skill. Listen for yourself.
Llucid, whose real name is Lucas Herwig, exudes an infectious passion for music that is palpable whenever he speaks about it. This same passion is a recurring theme throughout his life story. Despite being just 26 years old, he has already demonstrated a unique sound and an unwavering confidence in his artistic vision, as evidenced by his impressive body of work that includes multiple productions and songs. What’s even more impressive is that Llucid has achieved this level of success prior to the highly anticipated release of his debut album, Deep Blue Dreams, set to be unveiled in June (9th).
The latest addition to his growing oeuvre, which we will delve into later, is his second pre-release single “Higher Energy,” an anthemic, powerfully resonating track in which Llucid simply ignores the stereotypes of the hip-hop genre by transitioning from vitriolic nasal rap to choirs of proper crooning, and even laying down a chorus with an almost sacral energy. “Higher Energy” is yet another song that, in the most positive sense, doesn’t sound like it was “made in Germany.”
That is because Llucid’s tastes and production methods have always been informed by what’s going on across the big pond. “I’ve actually only ever been influenced by American music. Cole’s stuff and Kendrick’s early music in particular allowed me to tap into whole new spheres.” When he first discovered hip-hop, he was taken with the “sick rhythm of the recitative singing,” but he also loved the melodious vocal parts and always wondered: “Why don’t they mix the two together more often?” On “High Energy” he did exactly that by following an intuitive process that is only possible for him because he’s been living music for years, i.e., spending a lot of time in the studio. “’Higher Energy’ is one of those songs that was more or less created there in the course of a night. That evening I had held a kind of songwriting camp and we were in a creative fever. When that happens, I sometimes end up with a complete basic framework in the morning. I also have the advantage of being versed in multiple disciplines. I play instruments, sing, rap and produce, so I can be very free in what I do.” And that is just what he has been doing for years now.
Before kicking things off in his own studio, Llucid studied in Mannheim for a while, but halfway through his studies he realized he preferred making his own music and left Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. However, while there he met singer Dena Zarrin, aka Madanii, and they recorded their first tracks together. The song “Sober” is a testament to how well that works. In the ensuing years Llucid, who now lives and works in Berlin, has slowly but surely pushed his own solo work and released his six-track EP Getting in Touch on Grönland records earlier this year. Yet Llucid has also expanded his production portfolio and made music with exciting artists in the realm of rap and beyond. For instance, he has worked with Berlin-based Irish singer-songwriter Wallis Bird, helped produce a song for the band Hundreds and has found a friend and mentor in Samy Deluxe.
“Higher Energy” heightens the anticipation for the appropriately titled album Deep Blue Dreams a tad bit more because, while this song once again has that pure Llucid sound, it is much different to “Cast Away,” his first single. When you tell him that he grins impishly and says, “I’ve heard that before. Whenever I send my people new songs, they ask me where the heck I’m knocking around now.”
“”Higher Energy” has a playful and uplifting vibe, but it is also deeply personal to me. I often struggle with letting go of control and allowing things to happen naturally. In 2021, I embarked on a mission to rediscover the joy of making music. It had become my job by that time, and I felt like I had lost sight of the lightness that comes with creating purely for the sake of enjoyment. So, I left Berlin with a couple of friends to spend a week making music at Samy Deluxe’s studio. The space is filled with art and musical instruments, and being able to make music there with my friends felt like a childhood dream come true.
One night, while listening to Yung Thug’s “Hot,” my friend Schuster started playing drums for fun. That impromptu jam session became the foundation of “Higher Energy.” We wrote the song in one go, and to this day, listening to the choirs we recorded gives me the same joy I felt when we first created it.
The lyrics of “Higher Energy” are not just a reflection of that experience, but also a reminder to unapologetically be yourself and enjoy the process of creating without overthinking or overworking.”
A list of heavily underrated artists:, by LLUCID:
Hailing from Berlin singer & producer Evîn just released two beautiful EP’s in 2022. Combining RnB influences with her Kurdish roots, she creates music for the heart & soul. My personal favourite is Yarê.
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I came across his IG after seeing one of his videos & was shocked he only had around 3k followers. Fire aesthetics, bars on bars & top tier beat selection. Do not sleep on that guy! Happy to say he’ll be featured on my upcoming album!
Watch out for Amber Ryann cause she really does it all & she’s not planning to stop. Her hustle is as inspiring as her music. Seeing her music on TikTok was the first time I was not mad at using this app haha. Been High has been my summer soundtrack 2022
One more artist that’s heavily being slept on. Rapper/ singer & producer Angelo Mota does not miss with his forward thinking productions & delivers banger after banger. Truly inspiring!
When I first heard Terrell Hines ‘Get Up’ it took me a second to save that song & I must’ve replayed it a million times. Another rapper/ singer, producer, drummer & visionary that does not miss. Make sure to check out his art – including his music videos – & give that man his flowers!