• Harry Cruttenden

Illuminating the multi-faceted Lancey Foux

South-East London rapper and model Lancey Foux straddles the pinnacles of the coin that is music and fashion. Lancey occupies his own space, not conforming to the grime and drill movements of the UK music scene, constructed somewhere between trap, alternative R&B and new wave punk music, all filtered through non-verbal sounds of self-expression reminiscent of the Atlanta sound.

Although never reaching a mainstream audience, Lancey has proved popular among the industry, attracting a relationship with Skepta that has seen both collaborating on each other’s albums PINK II (2018) and Ignorance Is Bliss (2019). Alongside this, Lancey has recently previewed songs on his Instagram with both Lil Yachty and Swoosh God. More importantly, Lancey seems to have remained unfazed by the lack of mainstream attention. He remains true to his inspirations and artistic vision on the most recent album PINK II (2018) by fusing egotistic trap, irritated melodies of new wave punk, and ethereal moans and sounds of pure, unmediated feeling in a way that feels holistic and completely unique.

PINK II has a subject matter beyond materialistic, ego-caressing braggadocio, although it does remain at times. Despite his claims of material wealth, it is in his spiritual grounding where he finds his confidence. His voice, with its soft intensity on Purgatory Waiting Room speaks “I live my life by design, I picked what I want from the world and made it mine” – alluding to the widely preached 'Law of Attraction' by which you may manifest immaterial desires into existence. Moreover, later in the song he states how he has remained unaffected by money and the pressure it brings of conformity – “control you that’s what they try to do so the truth will never find you, the money g’on blind you…” - it is his authenticity that runs through his ego, exterior things will never trump it. Here he is referencing the philosophical pursuit of truth in the quest for wholeness, eliciting the idea that letting the industry control you and your vision will lead you astray from your authenticity, and as such, your true artistic potential.

It is clear from the off that Lancey’s consciousness spans beyond material form. The album holds multiple references to life, death, God, and the devil inside of him. In Sign Language he raps “I had demons at my christening, even when I pray I shout them out coz I know they’re listening”. He proves he is not without dark thoughts and negative energy, and thus strives forward in the acknowledgement of their omittance. Furthermore, his self-expression does not rely merely on the limited and restrictive domain of verbal communication to achieve its emotive resonance. Much like artists such as Young Thug and Future, his moans and sounds scream through the tracks like doses of emotion. At times they can express a clarity of feeling beyond that of verbal communication, closer to a sense of pure feeling that is at once more stylistic and participatory.

Lancey Foux is a difficult artist to contain, always escaping the solidification of his artistic identity. Following his two solo albums PINK (2015) and PINK II (2018), he has released a catalogue of singles including Dream (2018), No Intro (2018), Friend or Foux (2018) and Catch Me If You Can (2019), along with a host of visuals. In anticipation of his upcoming album which is at the moment untitled, we hope that Lancey continues to nurture his unique sound and subject matter that is certainly spiritually influenced, despite the commercial pressure that is inherent collaborating with big U.S. artists.

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