Think It's A Game Records / Lucci
Think It's A Game Records / Lucci

The city of Atlanta has become to rap what Detroit was to R&B in the 1960s, churning out a seemingly endless list of new rap talent over the course of the past decade. One of the more recent artists out of the Peach State to gain the attention of the rap world is YFN Lucci, who has enjoyed a considerable amount of success in his relatively young career. Signing with Think It's a Game Entertainment in 2014, and releasing his debut mixtape, Wish Me Well, Lucci returned in 2016 with Wish Me Well 2, which boasted the hit record "Key to the Streets," which features Migos and Trouble.

Having established himself as a major contender in Atlanta's vibrant rap scene, YFN Lucci has unleashed his debut EP, Long Live Nut, which is dedicated to the life of his deceased mentor Nut, who helped guide his music career and facilitated the rapper's deal with Think It's a Game Entertainment. With more than a year having passed since the release of his Wish Me Well 2 mixtape, the anticipation for Lucci's return was high and the Summerhill representative does not disappoint, constructing nine songs that convey his progress and pain.

"You know we way up/I done lost my man on the way up/Lost a couple bands on the way up/Had to change the plans on the way up," Lucci wails on "Way Up," the opening selection on Long Live Nut, which announces the rapper's impending rise to the top of the rap food chain. Produced By RamyOnTheBeat and June James, "Way Up" picks up where Wish Me Well 2 left off, with Lucci spilling his street testimonials over 808 drums and solemn keys, celebrating his bright future while reminiscing on his humble beginnings in the trap.

The energy on Long Live Nut is ratcheted up another level on "Heartless," which features Bigga Rankins and Rick Ross, and is produced By Will-A-Fool. "Lately I been chasin' paper, chasin' guap, yeah, yeah/Lately I been feelin' like fuck a hater, fuck a cop, yeah, yeah," Lucci belts out on the hook, setting the stage for Rick Ross to swoop in with a stellar gust appearance, as the two collided for an early highlight. After a year of laying down verses on other rapper's songs, a few of his collaborators repay the favor by contributing to Long Live Nut and turning in solid performances.

Lucci's YFN brethren Trae Pound comes correct on the Metro Boomin-produced heater "Ammunition," setting the track ablaze with hard-hitting couplets. "Like a pawn shop, thought I was with Jada way my trunk rocked up/Big cous', cook it up, he say it’s all locked up/All heavy artillery, very high up at the embassy/The paralyzed feelin' me," YFN Trae Bean rhymes, before playing hot potato with the mic as he and Lucci volley bars back and fourth on one of the EP's more intense offerings.

Long Live Nut may cater to the streets, but Lucci crafts a few cuts that find him focused on the opposite sex, particularly the tender "10 A.M." Featuring Chicago femme fatale Dreezy, who navigates the TiNo-produced track with flirty lines like, "It's my first time in your city/Know you gotta show me round like a tourist," "10 A.M." displays YFN Lucci's more tender side, while "Never Worried" is an exercise in debauchery, as Lucci deems women as disposable assets and puts money above all else on the road to the riches.

Rounded out with additional costars like PnB Rock ("Everyday We Lit") and Lil Durk ("Turn Thy Back"), Long Live Nut keeps the momentum going throughout and is without any egregious clunkers, making it equally seamless and entertaining. The project is another mission statement from YFN Lucci that should get even more listeners on board as he continues to show evidence of his potential as a star in waiting. Long Live Nut lives up to expectations and is sure to get the trap's nod of approval.

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