Third Lane Flows by Luke (EP Preview & Review)
- By Thami
- On 13/04/2018
- 0 comments
Sanele Mhlungu, going by the moniker “Luke”, is a recording artist from Pietermaritzburg, eMbali. Luke first got exposed to the music scene while taking up dancing as a hobby with a group of his friends. In 2011, one of his friends randomly asked him to write and record a “hook” for his track titled (For my Town), and that's when a rap genius was born.
The track, For my Town, made rounds eMbali, as people began to share and enjoy it more and more. This is when Luke decided that he'd take this music thing a bit more seriously, and he started working with a local producer Louie Van Wolf shortly after. The artist formed part of a group called GML NATION, and he hasn’t stopped recording music ever since. Luke's music is reflective of his surroundings, day-to-day situations in the hood, while also tackling common challenges that young people go through as they try to come into themselves while figuring the rest of the world out; common themes are romantic relationship and trying to acquire the best life for yourself.
Luke's EP, pensively titled Third Lane Flows, is his official debut as he readies himself for the mainstream music industry. The project is set to drop in May (date to be announced). It will be released under the independent music label, 03third Creations.
In the South African Hip Hop scene its takes quite a lot for an up & coming artist to be able to stand out & compete amongst the nations finest MCs such as AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Kwesta etc., who have had a monopoly on the game for the longest time. Most new underground artists opt to go the easy route by creating trap records that will sure have mass appeal in order to garner some sort of clout. However, let's be honest for a second, most of these artist never come out with something that they can actually build on.
That's not the case with Luke's Third Lane Flows. The EP is one rare gem that can go up against one of the finest internationally. It's not very often that you get music, especially from a young artist, nowadays that you can kick back and truly reflect on.
Luke understands how hard it is for an artist to establish themselves apart from the competition and hone a genuine and authetic sound unique to himself as an artist. So in order to do that he spent a meticulous amount of time crafting an impressive debut offering that will sure have a lasting impression, while shaking a few boots. When listening to Third Lane Flows there comes no doubt in mind that each song was given ample attention (in terms of sound quality and mastering) in order into ensure that we get the best listening experience so we can get a taste of what this young MC is capable of.
Luke's sound is at its strongest when he utilises upbeat, musical beats (especially ones with saxophone samples). This is proven on songs such as "Can You", "Paid vacation" & "Still Do". This is obviously an artist who refuses to box himself into a single range, as he goes on an exploring adventure with the many variants of his rap personas. He can mainstream just as well as he can underground. You want some chilled vibes on a Sunday afternoon? There's something for that embeded somewhere in the neatly packaged EP. You're going out on a wild night with your mates? Luke's got you covered with some hectic bangers on Third Lane Flows.
I've also personally enjoyed how Luke is able to speak about contemporary youth issues, especially in romantic ballads such as "After Sex" & "Ring Ring/Faithful", which felt inspired by the emotionally drenched musical style we usually expect from the likes of Drake. Although I'd personally prefer for Luke to stay grounded and dedicated to his more reflective, emotional side, when the artist reimages the trap genre, molding it around his own unique artistry, I come around and not mind it at all—although it takes a few more listens to get used to just how diverse his able to be in just his first debut.
Within songs like "Not You" & "Taylor Life", you'd Luke's unsaid frustrations with the rap industry and how saturated and predictable it is as he tries to fit in so that he can be noticed, to later be able to create what he really want to put out there. The artist is too talented to be trying to fit in, and although he does it well, he should instead shift his focus more towards diversifying his sound, so that nobody can challenge/go up against his undeniable talent when he blows up (which he will).
In conclusion, Third Lane Flows is a genuine, gripping and simply enjoyable offering. I personally believe that in time Luke will be one to be shook over because with the potential he has, it is clear that he is not just here to be some flashy rap-star, and instead has plans to become a future SA hip hop auter. Provided he keeps improving on his strengths & is able to evolve organically as an artist, that feat is inevitable and within his near future.
Check out the official front and back cover art for the EP below. Along with the lead single from the EP, titled “Still Do”.
Luke debuted a video for the hit single “Still Do”, and it is all kinds of fire with mindblowing quality that will sure encourage more and more artists to take every aspect of their artistic offerings seriously; packaging matters! Check out the official music video below