Lvkah Lvciano (Royal'T)
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Lvkah Lvciano (Royal'T)

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop


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"GRAMMY GPS Interview Series Features Lvkah Lvciano, PreauXX, Russ P"

Underground hip-hop artists Lvkah Lvciano, PreauXX and Russ P were among the participants at the recent GRAMMY GPS: A Road Map For Today's Music Pro hosted by The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter. During the event, Lvciano, PreauXX and Russ P participated in an exclusive interview with, discussing the importance of management and professional development seminars in smaller markets, among other topics.

"You gain a lot of information [and] a lot of insight [at professional seminars], specifically if someone like Talib Kweli comes in," said Lvkah Lvciano. "[Kweli's] been in the rap game for a long time."

Lvkah Lvciano is a rising hip-hop artist on the underground rap scene in his hometown of Memphis. Combining electric rhyming schemes with "Tommy gun lyrical delivery," Lvkah Lvciano has shared the stage with artists such as the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, Playa Fly and Kinfolk Thugs. His latest release is Dreamz.Schemez.Green.

"Every student needs a teacher," said PreauXX. "[The panelists] are just trying to teach us and put us ahead of the curve."

A New Orleans native, PreauXX (pronounced "pro") is an underground artist on Memphis indie label Westham Records. Mixing hip-hop and alternative sounds, his latest project is Mockingbird Mondays EP, an eight-song collection released in May.

"If you're a young artist out there, the information given to you [at seminars] is very important for you next couple of moves," said Russ P.

Russ P has rapped on the Memphis underground circuit for more than a decade and was signed to Universal Motown in 2008. Earlier this year, he released The Russell Polk Project, with Memphis independent label SkyLyfe Music Group. -

"The Evolution of Royal'T"

It's been a great year for local hip-hop and rap — with idiosyncratic indie artist Cities Aviv and major-label-signed hardcore rapper Don Trip making national waves and truly exciting, locally groundbreaking music this year. But the most promising sleeper artist on the scene might be Tim "Royal'T" Love — a gifted, prolific 20-year-old rapper whose music has been evolving quickly in 2011.

This weekend, Royal'T will take the stage at the Hi-Tone Café to celebrate the release of his third full-length album in the last 12 months, 4 All Seasonz.

Royal'T's December 2010 Raw Gospel Muzik was a decidedly old-school hip-hop affair, a guest-packed collection bridging the gap between the younger scene and some familiar names from the past decade of Memphis' indie hip-hop scene like Jason Da Hater and Fathom 9. This summer's I.D.K. (FUMZ) found Royal'T developing deeper partnerships with local MCs of his own generation — including Cities Aviv, Preauxx, and A Quest — while tapping into electronic music and rock for a sound and tone that evoked the recently erupting, Los Angeles-based Odd Future collective.

On 4 All Seasonz, Royal'T's most confident collection so far, he pulls back on the collaborations — three of 13 songs having "featuring" credits — displaying a diversity that draws on his records while still pushing his sound forward. "Pump It Up" evokes golden-age late-'80s hip-hop. "Party and Bullshit" is a smooth, jazzy traded-verse track in the vein of '90s heroes A Tribe Called Quest. "Spazz (devil muzik)" is a return to the menacing, rattled Odd Future style. And a second half trilogy — "Street Dreams," "A Gangsta Story," and "Hood Talr (On This Side)" — finds Royal'T bringing a sharp, moral approach to so-called gangsta rap somewhat in the vein of his physical doppelganger, Notorious B.I.G. (Though, actually, Royal'T looks less like Biggie than like the actor who played him in the biopic Notorious.)

Elsewhere, on collaborations with Cities Aviv ("Crazy") and jazzy local singer Fille Catatonique ("Geat Away"), Royal'T sounds more fully contemporary. Which of these many sides is the "real" Royal'T? He doesn't seem to know yet. Maybe all of it. But part of what's interesting about this emerging young artist is listening to him figure it out in real time.

Royal'T celebrates the release of 4 All Seasonz with a release show at the Hi-Tone on Saturday, October 22nd. Joining him onstage will be Preauxx, A Quest, and DJ Hush. Grim will perform a DJ set post-show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. All of Royal'T's albums are available for download at - Chris Herrington

"Royal'T staking out place among new Memphis hip-hop crop"

Timothy Love, aka Memphis rapper Royal'T Top MC, deliberately planned the release party for his new record 4 All Seasonz on Saturday at the Hi-Tone to coincide with his 20th birthday.

"This is like my coming-out party," says Love, who actually has been active on the local rap scene for three years. "This is my first actual big record that I've put out. I put out two records before, but I never had a release party for it or pushed it like I'm going to push this new album."

With the release of 4 All Seasonz, Love is staking his place among a new, young generation of alternative emcees — Cities Aviv, Knowledge Nic, and Love's Saturday opener, Preauxx, among them — who are redefining Memphis rap.

"It's not typical Memphis hip-hop. It doesn't sound like Three 6 Mafia or anything like that," says Daniel Drinkard, who with his partner Daniel Craig is releasing 4 All Seasonz on their Memphis-based Fat Sandwich label. "Royal'T is more of a throwback, '90s old-school hip-hop that there's not that much of going on in this city."

If Love sounds apart from typical Bluff City rapper it may be because he was raised apart. Growing up in South Memphis, Love was home-schooled, an experience that gave him a different set of influences than a lot of local emcees. He says he began singing and playing piano at age 6, imitating the Temptations, Michael Jackson and Prince at first. A year later at a "sock hop," he discovered hip-hop through the song "Hay" by the Chicago group Crucial Conflict, and he knew from that moment he wanted to rap.

"I've always thought I was an outsider because I would listen to Wu-Tang Clan instead of Three 6 Mafia," Love recalls. "I always went against the grain. If I saw somebody rocking red then I would want to rock blue. I always wanted to be separated."

After making a pair of little-heard home tapes, Love made his commercial recording debut at age 17 with Raw Gospel Muzik, an effort the rapper says was more of a statement of his roots than anything.

"It really wasn't gospel. It was kind of more grimy and gutter," says Love. "I took the essence of the '90s and I got a lot of the Memphis hip-hop legends of the period like Fathom 9 and Jason Da Hater from Iron Mic Coalition and I collaborate with them to let people know that these are the people I'm around. That was me saying this is who I am and I can keep up with these old heads."

Raw Gospel Muzik was followed last year by I.D.K., a much darker, "sinister" record that featured guest shots by his contemporaries Cities Aviv, Preauxx, and his cousin, A Quest, among others.

"It's a movement, not just here but everywhere," Love of says of the new hip-hop crop. "The young heads, I think now are taking over. In this era, hip-hop is going to a better place. I think people are tired of the same old thing, and they want something different."

Different is what fans can expect from 4 All Seasonz, which was largely produced by Fathom 9. In contrast to I.D.K., Love says the new record is an exploration of his "party side," with upbeat grooves counterpointed with gritty rhymes about life in South Memphis.

Fat Sandwich's Craig says the album is an exciting evolution of Love's sound.

"It's always fun to watch these new kids who've got this new sound they're experimenting with come up and come into their own," he says. "All these other rappers are either doing the same old thing, or they're just recycling something that somebody else has already done. But with (Cities Aviv) and Tim, they're really throwing caution to the wind with some of the beats that they make, some of the rhymes they throw out there. It's really exciting, and I think that's what draws people to them."

With his Hi-Tone coming-out — which will feature a rare solo performance by Love as well as a night-closing dubstep set — soon to be behind him, the rapper is already looking toward the future.

"People who like this album are going to love the next album that I'm dropping," says Love, who plans to issue an EP with DJ Hush before putting out his next full-length work in the spring.

"I'm almost done with it. I'm like 10 songs in, and I think I'm going to do 14. I'm really hyped about it. I'm working with different producers. This is gonna be the one."

Royal’T record release with special guests Preauxx, A Quest, and DJ Hush

Saturday at the Hi-Tone Café, 1913 Poplar Ave. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission: $5. Advance tickets available at For more information, call

(901) 278-8663. - Mark Jordan

"Album Review: Royal'T-Raw Gospel Muzik"

Royal’T has been making his presence felt in the Memphis hip-hop ("Memphop") underground community for the last few years, beginning with the release of his first album The Throwback Novel. Royal’T is preparing for the release of his official sophomore album, but in the meantime, he has given us the free digital album Raw Gospel Muzik: “A Prequel…” for download, featuring a who’s who of Memphis hip-hop artists. The album begins with the “Religious Intro” where rapper/producer Fathom 9 plays the role of a preacher who warns the listener that this is not ordinary gospel music. The intro sets up the album perfectly, segueing into the track “Hilarious”, which features Ty, Savsola, and Infinito 2017. After a sample of Joe Pesci from Goodfellas, these emcees attack the track with focused aggression, calling out rappers who they feel engage in silly activities and trivial subject matter. Savsola sums up the sentiment with this line: “Straight advancing, I am not gonna start dancing/This ain’t a sitcom, save the cheers for Ted Danson”. Jason Da Hater joins Royal’T for the tracks “Murder (kill kill) and “Journey”. On the latter track, Jason is in rare form with lines like “In the streets we might roll deep, it’s no surprise/And if so, we super thick like Beyonce’s thighs”. Royal’T, Ty, Savsola, and Empee also shine on the track “Happiness”. Empee expresses his feelings about hip-hop with the lines “Without music in my life, I’m a total wreck/Hip-hop saved me, thank you, nuff respect” Royal’T goes solo on the track “Muzik 4 Her Stereo”. This song attacks the misogynistic nature of several hip-hop songs and speaks to the female hip-hop listener: “She wants to take her time to slowly catch the vibe/Something so touching that she has to press rewind”. Royal’ T is joined by female emcee Queen Nilaja on the sensual track “Supreme Love Making”. Queen Nilaja holds her own with lines like “Yo, God, I think you’re scared to feel good/Scared I’ll make you feel like a king should, scared I’ll take away all your manhood”. The last track, “My Wrath”, is an all-star jam featuring Spunge, Ty, Mordachi the Foul, Mike P (DVS), SavSola, HB Sol, and Fathom 9. Every emcee goes all out on this sparse track. Fathom 9 takes no prisoners with lyrics like “Fathom 9 was always known for decimating simpletons with simple grins/Watch them scream like Minnie Ripperton”.

Royal’T has assembled an all-star cast for this album and he touches on a variety of subjects. There are battle rhymes, songs about love, war, social commentary, and he even composed the rare “hip-hop song for the ladies” that doesn’t feel forced or come off as pandering. Royal’T’s growth as an artist is evident on all thirteen tracks. “Raw Gospel Muzik” should build a buzz for his upcoming album while also providing a showcase for the more lyrical Memphis hip-hop artists. “Raw Gospel Muzik” can be downloaded at Bandcamp. - A Geek and His Blog- Markus Seaberry

"Teen Acts Stepping Up"

At a hip-hop showcase at the Center for Southern Folklore a few weeks ago, a microphone was handed into the crowd, and a few of the aspiring artists there as fans took turns with their own freestyle verses.

The best of the bunch, by far, came from Tim "Royal'T TopMC" Love, a hulking 19-year-old who charmed the crowd with a flow that was warm, easeful, and engaging.

I'd met Royal'T earlier in the evening, when he was passing out flyers for a show he was promoting the next night at downtown's Club Escape. The show featured a long list of like-minded, new-generation Memphis rappers, whom Royal'T was unofficially dubbing "The Young Alliance."

"I do the shows just to give people good hip-hop," Royal'T says. "My goal is to really put myself out there and bring people together."

This weekend, at Young Avenue Deli, Royal'T is rounding up much of the same crew — rappers such as Cities Aviv, Preauxxx, Taktix, and Virghost — for a show he's dubbing "'90s Hip-Hop Reloaded," a tribute to the hip-hop style of that decade, with attendees encouraged to dress in '90s styles.

Given that Royal'T was born in the early '90s and that hip-hop culture tends to be present tense and forward-looking, it's odd that the young Memphis rapper — who once performed as part of a more conventionally modern group called Mic Runnaz — should obsess over what he refers to as hip-hop's "golden age."

"I feel that in the '90s, there was more soul," says Royal'T, who cites A Tribe Called Quest, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, and Nas as his favorite hip-hop artists of that era. "Not just the lyrics, but also in the beats — you can feel more love than you can today."

Royal'T's introduction to classic hip-hop was also influenced by a couple of music-making uncles, Memphis' Ennis "Fathom 9" Newman and Chicago rapper HB Sol.

Fathom 9 will also be on the bill at Young Avenue Deli this weekend and is among the many veteran local rappers who join Royal'T on Raw Gospel Muzik, the strong, free Internet album Royal'T released last December. Along with Fathom 9, who connects early-'00s local hip-hop crews the Genesis Experiment and Iron Mic Coalition, the album features Genesis Experiment's Mike P., IMC's Empee and Jason Da Hater, and other local vets such as MaxPtah and Infinito.

"I reached out to bring everybody together. They weren't doing it for a while," Royal'T says of getting so many local scene vets together.

Given the subculture of "gospel rap" that Royal'T's music doesn't belong to, the album's title is a little misleading: "I wanted to start a controversy," he says. "A lot of people are going to see the title and turn it on and hear something different. But I see all the people I worked with as a hip-hop choir."

Royal'T produced most of Raw Gospel Muzik, with help from Fathom 9 and Max Ptah. It's his second release, following an earlier work, The Throwback Novel. But Royal'T considers these releases "prequels" to a true debut album, the more solo-performed and mostly Fathom 9-produced 4 All Seasons, which he says is "more personal, with more neo-soul and experimental beats." Royal'T hopes to have the album ready sometime this summer.

"Royal'T TopMC Presents: '90s Hip-Hop Reloaded" takes place at Young Avenue Deli on Friday, March 18th. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $5. You can download Raw Gospel Muzik for free at - The Memphis Flyer- Chris Herrington


My Turn (Album)-Summer 2007
Throw Back Novel (Album)-Summer 2008
Raw Gospel Muzik (Album)-Winter 2010
IDK(Album)Summer 2011
4 All Seasonz (Album)-Fall 2011
Dreamz.Shemez.Green (Album)-Summer/Fall 2012




“But the most promising sleeper artist on the scene might be Tim "[Lvkah Lvciano]" Love…” – Chris Herrington, Memphis Flyer, 2012

Lvkah Lvciano, born Tim L. Love, Jr., is quickly emerging as one of the brightest lyricists in the underground Memphis scene. Hometown born and bred, Lvkah compounds his eclectic rhyming schemes and tommy gun-lyrical delivery to create an innovative brand of hip hop unique to the Memphis underground.

The name Lvkah Lvciano is a cipher that pays homage to both Luca Brasi (character in the novel and film The Godfather) and to New York crime boss Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano, both feared and influential figures of the mob underworld. But the name Lvkah also serves as a reminder to other emcees of Lvkah’s physical and parenthetical powers as a creator & destroyer on the microphone.
Born and raised in the mean streets of Memphis, Lvkah first began honing his skills as a way to stay above the power and influence of the streets around him, developing a passion and a message that he delivers in his songs. Lvkah is first and foremost a story teller with his rhymes, focusing on subjects prevalent to his generation.

He and his work (both as Lvkah Lvciano and formerly as Royal’T) – whether individually or as part of collaborations with friends Cities Aviv, PreauXX, A-Quest, RPLDGHSTS and other key figures in the Memphis Rap Underground – has been the subject of features on high-profile music websites and blogs including NME, Earmilk, Loudersoft, multiple features in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Flyer, and an artist spotlight performance on Live from Memphis “60 Seconds.” In addition to memorable performances with his peers, Lvkah has shared stages as a featured performer with notable artists including Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Playa Fly and Kinfolk Thugs.

Tireless in the studio, Lvkah’s evolving discography -- from his debut album My Turn to his last released project, 4 All Seasonz – demonstrates Lvkah’s ability to exude the most desirable skills an MC can possess: being a man with an ear for quality beats, effortless talent, a charisma that charms all the honeys and an unleashed flow that strikes a chord with audiences and critics alike.

In his latest project, Dreamz.Schemez.Green (released November 2012), Lvkah uses his words to resolve the consequences of situations that hit close to home -- family, education, street life, and trying to maintain balance within it all.

Lvkah is a direct reflection of this new genre of emcees that are not about just blazing a new path, but changing the way the path is made.

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