“Drop Down,” one of the lead singles off of Lunice’s debut CCCLX, is the craziest concept opera you’re ever going to hear.

Opera once was one of the most popular artforms, on par with a huge summer Blockbuster or a major album drop. While it warps our brains a bit to think of a Coachella crowd decked out in powdered wigs and corseted gowns, opera really isn’t that far different from current music. Opera is the singularity where concept albums and Broadway musicals intersect.



As a self-described “arena rapper,” Quebecois rapper Lunice had grand aspirations for his debut album, a conceptual opera in four parts for Hudson Mohawke’s Lucky Me label. Lunice and Mohawke have previously paired up with the excellent synthpop duo TNGHT. Both producers have a knack for coloring their respective genres— hip-hop and the-genre-formerly-known-as-dubstep— with a futuristic sheen and a poppy sensibility. Both are in full attendance on “Drop Down,” thanks to production assistance from PC Music’s SOPHIA, as well as Lucky Me’s S-Type. Hot up-and-coming MC Le1f makes an appearance as well; there are more rising stars on “Lucky Me” than watching the Perseid meteor shower in reverse.

youtube “Lucky Me” kicks off with SOPHIE’s distinctive sound mangling beats, sounding like one of those ‘80s Scrubbing Bubbles commercials repurposed into an underwater mecha battle. Tight, taut kicks prevent “Drop Down” from being cutesy or precious, low-slung yet heavy-hitting, like getting pelted by a wall of pea shooters. Lunice and Le1f drop strange verses about what seems to be a cat who comes to visit, although it’s not clear what this cat’s doing.

With this kind of futuristic hip-hop, we’re not exactly here for the lyrical insight. Lunice and Le1f’s flow sounds like old skool rap, but on Jupiter. The beats and hooks are fun and catchy, and the dream team status draws gold from each participant. Lunice and Lucky Me take the edge off of SOPHIE’s productions, which can verge on grating, at times. The MCs sound like they’re just having a good time, a party in the vocal booth, as hip-hop should be.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.