Lancey Foux proves he’s more than just a Carti imitator on "LIVE.EVIL"

by Temi Akinyoade

Lancey Foux proves he’s more than just a Carti imitator on "LIVE.EVIL"

Playboi Carti’s album Whole Lotta Red has been plaguing trap music ever since its release. Both rising and popular trap artists like Unotheactivist and Trippie Redd have bit off Carti’s entire style, copying his beats, delivery, and even adlibs. Only a few have managed to take Carti as inspiration without losing their own style, and even fewer have been able to capture Whole Lotta Red’s scattered nature. But U.K. rapper Lancey Foux, with his bassy rage beats, slight baby voice, and a style of music nearing American trap music, succeeds. A playthrough of his most recent project, LIVE.EVIL, shows the range of sounds on a project, versatility, and experimental trap beats that his fans can only go to him for.

The single “BIG SWAG,” featuring pop rapper 24kGoldn, was the only taste listeners had of the mixtape before its release. It’s a simple trap song with boastful lyrics – the chorus repeats, “I’m on a big big big type of swag.” It’s a fun little song, and it’s fortunately one of the worst songs off the project.

The first song “LIVE.EVIL!¡” immerses the listener into the project, with sounds like thunder, a baby crying, maniacal laughter, and ambulance sirens muffled over intergalactic-sounding synths to make the atmosphere of some sort of dystopian setting. You hear a man’s distorted voice talking about morals, evil, and human nature. To show the “evil” side, Lancey Foux starts off with songs like “RESPECT,” where he aggressively raps about his extravagant lifestyle and tendency to fight over a beat with very heavy 808s. Another track called “OUTTAMYMIND!” has the same lyrical content, less 808s, and a darker beat to create similar energy.

The song “tellyafriends !¡” changes the album’s atmosphere, and he longingly asks his partner if they can take further steps in their relationship. The beat creates a sound of vulnerability and a hopeful mind. On “COLLECTION,” he shows his Nigerian roots by singing to this love interest over an Afropop-like beat.

In “I KNOW,” Lancey Foux raps over a beat with bubbly tones about his struggle to make the right choices. This is one of the best songs on the album, and one of the most meaningful, but it’s crowded by an overwhelming amount of songs about his self-proclaimed swag. LIVE.EVIL is a mixtape, not an album, so by definition it’s less carefully curated. But the intro track declared this an ambitiously themed mixtape.

A huge disappointment on this album was the song “Wait in Miami.” At first, this seems like one of the most beautiful songs he has ever put out. The beat, reminiscent of an ‘80s R&B love song, is some of the prettiest production Lancey Foux has ever used, and the soft violin in the background will make a listener float. He talks of a girl he calls Miami, because that’s where he wants to be. Then, as the music slowly fades out, we hear who we assume to be Miami talk about how she’s tired of waiting for Lancey Foux, and with absolutely zero warnings or transitions, there’s a short pause and another dark beat with heavy 808s. He starts to rap about how he actually doesn’t have time to see this woman, all the different types of swag he has, and how he has too many baddies to choose one out of. The purpose of the sudden change in this song fits the theme of the mixtape, succumbing to the “evil” and temptations surrounding him, but something about the execution of the song is lazy.

Other than that letdown of a song, LIVE.EVIL is an enjoyable compilation of unique trap bangers. Lancey Foux matches the energy of Whole Lotta Red while making this mixtape original to him and distinctive from Carti and his many copycats.