HITS Daily Double

Los Angeles rapper Mark Lux is taking hip-hop back to its raw storytelling roots. 

“Music is a way for me to vent and really display my life to the world and say things that I usually don't even say through conversation,” he says. “So it's healing. Making music is a beautiful process.”

 After having what he describes as a sit-down moment with God, Lux released solo project Luxury in 2019 through his label, Slumsons. He issued Channel 21 the following year. He has since released a couple of singles and the EP WestCoast Party with Holland Izz.

On both projects, Lux’s primary focus is storytelling, and his approach is  candid and raw about his life experiences. 

Songs like “At God’s Door,” “Peace” and “In the People’s Eyes” are detailed glimpses inside his mind and the struggles he faces as a Black man--while maintaining his spiritual outlook. 

“Man, I talk about God a lot,” he acknowledges. ”It's not even intentional. It’s like when you have a relationship with somebody and it's on your mind all the time.”

Lux is heavily influenced by musical storytellers such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, Lauryn Hill, Sampha, J. Cole, Larry June and Frank Ocean, all of whom have contributed to his overall sound and cadence, inspiring him to craft thought-provoking lyrics and music listeners can vibe to.

Lux’s musical influences also helped shape who he is as a man. Growing up without a father figure, he leaned on these key creative figures to help mold his perception of daily life. 

“I’m watching their interviews and listening to their music because I’m not getting a man’s point of view in my household,” he notes. “So, it was like, I'm listening to like my influences. And a lot of those influences were rappers.”

 He choose his words “very carefully,” he insists. The 2022 single “Allat,” a witty, vivid L.A. party song that’s earned some airplay on key local station Power 106, is a case in point. 

“I wanted to make sure we did something real lyrical,” he says. “I wanted to bring in all of my worlds, like everything that I've seen in a L.A. function, everything that I've been through and everything that I've done but say it in a more clever way.”

Hip-hop, he argues, “pushes everything forward. Not even just Black culture. It pushes a lot of narratives; it makes people uncomfortable; it makes people have fun; it makes people cry. It's the most universal music there is.”

He’s committed to innovating in the genre, as some of his favorite artists have done, by creating a “formula that people aren’t really doing and seeing” through his lyrics, sound and visuals.

“Lyrically, visually, with everything, I'm really going to take it there,” he continues. “I don't think the world is ready for it. But I love it, because I think I'm going to catch a lot of people off-guard and do a lot of things differently. I'm excited to show the world exactly what I'm doing.”

Beyond fame and going viral on social media, Lux wants to be regarded as more than just a rapper—he wants people to view him as a modern-day prophet, someone who can help people get through the difficulties of their daily lives. “I always want to spew God’s word,” he says. “And I always want to give  a testament of his word to my music. I meditate on that, every single day.”

“Honestly, I feel like the door is so wide open for me,” Lux adds. “I feel like everybody in the world is waiting for the new generation to emerge.” He intends to create “the most thought-provoking shit ever.' He concludes, 'It’s hard to talk about it. I’d rather just show it.”

—Written by Nia Symone Williams, GRAMMY U Mentorship Program mentee