Lakutis is a rare breed, an art punk rapper who makes aggressive music that references Doug Funnie, eating pussy, and Seinfeld in one rhyme, and if you can find one other rapper that can pull that off, please send them Lakutis’s way so he can spit in their drink and steal their girl. On Chris Gethard’s infamous public access show, Lakutis requested he be introduced as “a New York native, Russian Jew, coming straight from Hung Central,” before tearing the show apart with his a cappella raps (because a bunch of white people dancing makes him nervous). Lex’s performance lives on as video proof of the kind of nonconformist oddity he really is: laughing at his own jokes, pointing out the references embedded in his raps, and making the female audience visibly uncomfortable before winning them back a line later (“I’m getting head in the desert like it’s the movie Se7en” is a personal favorite that fits the first half of that, at least).
With his new mixtape, Three Seashells, Lakutis takes the formula that had made him an underground favorite in NYC and exponentially blows that shit up into an incredibly powerful 24-minute experience. Despite the record’s relatively short runtime, so much humor, angst, and pure bohemian attitude are melded together with admirable results. Gone are the days of more whimsical guest spots on Das Racist tracks; now, Lakutis is so in your face with his anarchic music he’s practically picking your nose and wiping it on your shirt. “Chinese Slippers”, a song that he previewed on The Chris Gethard Show, is the most unhinged of all the album’s tracks, bringing a ferocity to the drunk rap game that doesn’t really exist anywhere else. With lines like “Hoe I been poppin’/ Carved my own stone chess piece/ Tim Robbins,” Lex asserts himself as the funniest rapper who’s currently screaming 70% of his lyrics.
The Hot Sugar-produced “Body Scream” shows a multifaceted Lakutis rapping about parents hiding their children from him and a Living Single quote-off with a girl at a party, before breaking into a rousing hook that shows how close to R&B he could go if he really wanted. “Black Swann” reunites Lakutis with “Swann Gangg” cohort DVS, who puts the only guest feature to good use, rasp-rapping his way through one of the best beats on the album, produced by SicksentZ. It’s fitting that Lakutis makes his entrance by yelling “Food Fight!” because what follows is total mayhem. The dystopian sounds of the scattershot drums combined with the electronic death rattle make for an intense listen, and the song is a great microcosm of Lakutis as a whole. He’s out to disturb, disorient, and delight you with his punk sensibilities in an art rap environment. This is music to smash empty 40s over your head to, to smoke Black & Milds in an abandoned warehouse to, to hang in the basement of a party with some people who scare you to. Lakutis isn’t afraid to prod the darker corners of rap. In fact, he’s gleefully bellyflopping into the murky deep end, and we’re all better off for it.
Essential Tracks: “Chinese Slippers”, “What the Fuck”, and “Black Swann”