• Lucas
  • To Rap My World Around You (Uptown) 1991 
  • <<Lucacentric>> (Big Beat/Atlantic) 1994 

Lucas Secon would seem to be the very model of the modern alternarapper, given his ability to leap from Rakim to Roland Barthes in a single verbal bound and his flair for mutating classic jazz phrasing — a trait no doubt facilitated by having a composer father who wrote for the Mills Brothers back in the day. The Scandinavian-American MC has never thrown many street-cred shapes — never had it, most likely never will — but the giddy wordplay he pirouettes through on <<Lucacentric>> is every bit as freeing as the rhymes proclaim themselves to be. The album’s hit, “Lucas With the Lid Off,” makes it clear that when Lucas crows about size, he’s talking about above-the-neck attributes. Although the jazz-reggae hybrid that bubbles beneath most of the tracks does grow repetitive after a while, there are twists like “Spin the Globe,” a rapid-fire torch-pass between Lucas and multi-lingual rappers Al Agami and Jam that’s elevated above novelty status by the sheer zest the performers pour into it.

Earlier in his career, Lucas made To Rap My World Around You, an ill-advised attempt to position himself as the thinking girl’s Vanilla Ice.

[Deborah Sprague]