Nearly two years removed from the day he signed to J. Cole‘s Dreamville Records, Charlotte, N.C. native Lute is all set to drop his debut on the label, this Friday (Sept. 29). The project, titled West 1996 Pt. 2, was supposed to have dropped a good while ago and the now 28-year-old rapper had planned to quit rapping soon after it was released. The thing is, fate had other plans for the rapper—and so did J. Cole.
In his newly released Dreamville documentary, Still Slummin’, Lute recounts the day Cole signed him to Dreamville and immediately ended his retirement plans. He was just hours away from dropping West 1996 Pt. 2 when he got a completely unexpected phone call.
“It’s late, maybe like two or three o’clock in the morning, getting it ready to drop that day,” Lute remembers. “[J. Cole’s] like, ‘Bout to drop it today?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah I’m bout to drop it later today. We just wrapping things up right now.’ He’s like, ‘Oh dope. Think you can hold onto it for me?’” Needless to say, he did.
Speaking on the project, which will feature an appearance from the newest Dreamville signees, EarthGang, Lute says it’s an encapsulation of all the events leading up to his making it big. “My album is an accumulation of chapters and events leading up to Dreamville signing me. It’s a window into the last five years of my life…The obstacles, the challenges, the changes,” Lute says of his debut Dreamville project.
He continues, “It’s also motivation to not let people or circumstances define who you are. My only competition is the person I was yesterday. I’ve been patient and very appreciative of this platform and now it’s time to show what I’m capable of.”
Check out the tracklist for West 1996 Pt. 2 below, and watch his Still Slummin’ documentary beneath that. The bit about his signing to Dreamville comes in at around the 8:25 mark.
Lute’s West 1996 Pt. 2 Tracklist
1. “Morning Shift”
2. “Still Slummin’”
3. “Home” Feat. Elevator Jay
5. “Git Up” Feat. GQ Slaughter
7. “Ford’s Prayer” Feat. Cam O’bi
8. “Crabs in a Barrel”
9. “Premonition” Feat. EarthGang and Cam O’bi
10. “Birds & Bees”
11. “Livin Life” Feat. High I’m Ry
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