swim against stream


Every city has its tight-knit Indie circle, a respected undercurrent, an underground movement with its own hustle and grind industry format. Comparable to an explosive gumbo mix of Mos Def and Public Enemy, the enigmatic lyricist Luca Brazi is definitely the triangle in a circle of squares.

interview by ida divine // photograph by whyelfiles

What does your name mean? Some homies came through the studio­­­—which was my bedroom at my mama’s crib at the time—and we were kickin’ it, vibing to instros and what not. I spit a verse and my dude goes, “Bro you make hits man.”  Well in the movie “The Godfather,” Luca Brasi was Don Corleone’s most notorious hitman, and from there it just stuck with me. I was like 17 at the time.

What kind of vibe do you need in the studio to record? I hate going in the studio and everything is a rigid procedure: the vibe is lifeless, ain’t no energy there. More than that, I hate when the studio turns into the club and people want to smoke and drink the whole time, ain’t no productivity there. The best atmosphere for me is a balance between work and play, because then it doesn’t feel like work anymore.

How are you capitalizing on your growing buzz? I’m getting my business in order. The most important thing I’ve learned is you have to have your framework set before you can ever take your dream to the next level. I realized my potential and the new responsibilities that came with it, not only as an aspiring artist, but as an aspiring entrepreneur.

Your favorite dish from mom’s cooking? Maaaaan, I’ll put my mama’s chicken up against anyone’s!  Emeril, Paula Deen, whoever – and they’ll all get bodied!

Three artists you’d like to collab with dead or alive? Tupac, Damien Marley, and Kanye West

What venue would be the ultimate place to perform? Anywhere with a bunch of people. I don’t really care about the venue; it’s the people that bring
it to life.

What’s the most amazing thing about Charlotte? The diversity. You can find anybody from anywhere in Charlotte and they all have a different story to tell.

What inspired the track ‘Negus’ from your SOLFOOD mixtape? It started with a conversation between a friend and I about the state of black people in America—our dependency on people other than ourselves for everything we consider valuable as well as the lack of control we have of our own images in the media. We talked about how the history of our origin and the sum of our accomplishments has been abbreviated to slavery, emancipation, and Barack Obama. That’s not the truth, and I wanted to convey
that in ‘Negus.’

Tell us about your first perfomance. I opened up for a heavy metal band and the whole crowd came out to see me and left right after.  That’s when I knew I had something.

When did you realize you were too awesome to work a job? Never.  What I’m doing right now is a job. I’m a part of the music business.


This interview was conducted early 2013.

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