Lucas, Jr.: Second Generation
Interview conducted by: Todd Davis
I imagine it must
be rather difficult being the offspring of an infamous gangster. Along with
all of the perks, I can only assume that there would be an equal amount of pitfalls.
Let's ask. Rap Industry Dot Com recently caught up with his namesake, Frank
Lucas, Jr., the, now grown, son of the American Gangster himself, to discuss
life -- Past, present, and future
What was it like
growing up the son of, literally, the American Gangster, your father, Frank
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Different.
Because you seen a lot, (and) never knew where it came from. Daddy wasn't there,
but money was. So, different is the best way to describe it.
What are some of your craziest memories of those early days?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Duffle
bags of money in the attic of my grand-parents house. I thought everybody's
house was like that, and that everybody had money.
There is film coming out November 2nd directed by Ridley Scott,
and starring Denzel Washington playing the role of your father -- Have you seen
it yet? If so, what are you feelings about it?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Yes, I've
seen the movie. My sense is that people will appreciate the lesson most needed
through American Gangster, and that is that gangsters will always pay the price
just like anybody else in life.
When you first heard about it were you happy that they were doing a film
based on his life? How did he actually feel about it?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Well, he
felt like indifferent about it because he is not really about the spotlight
and having people in his face (and stuff like that) that comes with being a
celebrity. His ego wanted it. I was ecstatic about it. For him to have an opportunity
to have a movie come out on his life while he is still living, that's big.
Are you and your dad still pretty close? How supportive is
he of your career choice? And, do you feel you have some pretty big shoes to
fill, so to speak, as far as rapping under your birth name versus that of a
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Yes, of
course, we are family. Well, my father doesn't really understand today's popular
music, but he supports me because I'm his son, period. His concern with me is
always making certain I am successful as it relates to wealth, and he knows
the music business is tough so he just wants to see me succeed since I have
chosen this as my career.
At what age did music first become of interest to you?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: My inception
into music was at the age of three when my mother used to play records like
Earth Wind & Fire, The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, The Jackson Five, and Teddy
Pendergrass in the house. I knew all the songs, and I used to perform with the
broom like I was singing on stage. It was a family thing that I enjoyed. As
far as the artist thing, that came from the mid '80's influence of KRS-One,
EPMD, MC Shan, Just Ice, Slick Rick, King Sun, Rakim, Kool G Rap , LL Cool J
and the list plays on. It began for me with a show at PS212, and the rest is
history. However, I got a real taste of the business when I did business with
artists on Uptown Records.
You are a native of Harlem, NY, correct? So, of those artists
mentioned, I hear that Michael Jackson has been a huge influence on you
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Yes, I
was born in Harlem, yet raised in every borough of N.Y. that is why I say I'm
so New York. I think my strongest was The Jackson 5. Matter of fact, I know
Michael is working on a project. We should collaborate -- That would be gangster!
At what point
did you start taking your craft more seriously?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: At 14
years old. I was a battle emcee, and by then I knew what I could do. I was
hood approved. Going to every project to battle in Queens, and then throughout
the city. I won most of the time, and that's when I knew I was onto something
-- My destiny.
Are you currently signed at this particular time?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: I am
an entrepreneur. I have my own corporation right now. We are planning to do
more than music. We have a label, but also we are developing deal offers for
a clothing label, a video game and my own movie. It's about building an empire
to continue the Lucas legacy, which is the name of our corporation, Lucas
Describe for me your sound
Frank Lucas, Jr.: In two
words, 'Street Versatility' -- We got something for everyone. Those on the
block, those in the clubs, those in the schools, those chillin' at home, those
with the bumpin' systems, etcetera. Like I said, we have something for everyone.
The most important thing I think is that we are bringing FUN back to the game.
I love this and my squad is crazy, so we're ready and we going in.
Has the album been titled yet?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Actually,
we have four albums. We have the street tape that is dropping in two weeks.
Everyone has done their American Gangster mix-tape, ours is called, Birthright!
The next project is the American Gangster Commission album. That is my squad,
and they are official. I searched throughout the U.S. for 50 of the illest
emcees. These are the top 5. The next project will be the Frank Lucas Soundtrack.
I know Universal has theirs, but they never asked the family for stories or
the truth, so this soundtrack will portray that in music because music is
our drug of choice. The last album is my solo album.
In terms of production, who are you working with?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: From
the first metronome click to the final mix, that is my involvement. As for
my producers, they are numerous. I don't go after names. I choose my producer
by his talent. So I got Paperboy, Cue Trax, AI, Scotty Blanco
The list is so long it's a problem.
Any highlights that you'd like to point out
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Well,
right now we are doing our own record called 'Blue Magic,' featuring the group
What are your plans for longevity in this business of music?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Real
talent, and the ability to adapt -- From era to era.
Is there anything else that you'd like to branch out and do, maybe even
completely away from music?
Lucas, Jr.: Yes, I want to own my masters,
my own properties, etcetera. Think about it
Ownership -- That's gangster.
Would it be fair to say that you are happy with the current
state of Hip-Hop music?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: No, that
is why we're here -- WE GO IN!
Who is Frank Lucas, Jr.?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: The only
thing I want you to know about me is that I'm fair. As long as you're fair,
I'm good with you.
What do you do for fun?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: I like
chillin' -- Listen to A.G.C. records and you will know
What do your future goals and plans entail?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Being
What's next for you?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: 'Blue
Magic' is hitting the streets next week. The street tape is to follow, and
history will be rewritten again.
Also, any plans to take the Frank Lucas, Jr. show out on
the road anytime soon?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: That
is being set up right now.
For someone who hasn't experienced you live, what would
you tell them can be expected?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Electricity,
and a good time! I'm bringing fun back to Hip-Hop.
Any parting words?
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Shallydo!!!!
Thanks for taking your time out with me today, man. Good
luck with everything, and continued success to you.
Frank Lucas, Jr.: Thanks
for having us, and giving us the opportunity to speak with you. Check me out
at : myspace.com/franklucasmusic