Lucas Acid is the first full-length project from noise-rap pioneers Moodie Black in over four years. The Minneapolis-based group has been releasing grimy experimental music for over a decade under the record label Fake Four Inc., which houses multiple creative acts in the world of underground hip-hop. Moodie Black perfectly fits this description boasting grimy industrial production and equally-textured vocals that sound eerie and unsettling. As their name suggests, Moodie Black manages to create a dark “moody” vibe using distorted instrumentation and a unique vocal delivery.
Kdeath, or K (aka Chris Martinez) is the lead singer of the group, who came out publicly as a non-binary trans femme in 2014. It is on Lucas Acid, however, where K’s voice clearly shines through the noisy production, allowing K’s message to resonate more clearly. Self-admittedly, this clarity was lacking in past projects, but K finally manages to perfectly blend their personal and artistic sides.
Moodie Black manages to produce an earnest commentary on what it’s like to be a trans person of color in today’s world. Sonically, the album is very consistent, consisting of dark synths, distorted guitars and sinister sounding, industrial-influenced hip-hop production. K manages to use their prose to paint a bleak picture of transphobia and racism present in the country. On the headbanging track “Freedom,” which boasts aggressive synth-scapes and pounding screams, K talks about the challenges that people of colour face. “Sway” is an anthem for the trans community highlighting the legitimacy of LGBTQ issues and the process of being comfortable in one’s own skin. Identity is a common theme for the album, which is extremely prevalent on “Lips” where K confronts the ostracization that they face as an artist and the paranoia associated with transformation.
Overall, the album not only has some of the hardest production but also some of the most honest writing this year. Complemented by additional vocals from Ceschi Ramos and Pierre Mottron, loud wails and distant screams fill up soundscapes to create the unnerving and melodic magnum opus of Moodie Black’s discography, if not, of the recent noise rap scene.