Steve Lacy Is a New Kind of Guitar Hero

GQ Hype: That’s the big story of the present.


Steve Lacy won’t fail no matter how hard I try. Whenever I asked a question he didn’t want to answer, he narrowed his eyes a little and looked to the side; his lips curl into a shy smile, like saying I know exactly what you want, but sorry, that’s my secret. He does not subtly ignore the question, or excuse ignorance; he made it clear that he was holding me at arm’s length, but in a polite way. (He almost always apologizes for hiding the truth.) For example, his new record Gemini’s Rights is a breakup album that begins with the bittersweet Lacy scene “Looking for a bitch, because I’m better than a boy” and ends with him singing “I don’t want to be hated, I’ll love you instead like new.” But while Lacy has made an entire album about the unnamed ex-boyfriend who inspired these jostling emotions, he doesn’t want to continue documenting what happens to them now. His face clearly shows the mental process of wondering exactly how much to say, before finally deciding that, in this regard, he will let the album speak for him.

This kind of conscientious poise – a constant sense of who he is and what the moment needs from him – is what many people associate with Lacy. Lacy is great. He is collected. He’s amazingly mature, unusually calm, wise beyond his years, etc. He takes our Zoom call in his kitchen, where he wears a simple black T-shirt with the logo that I can’t recognize; It’s 2 p.m. in Los Angeles but he’s eating his first meal of the day, which he apologizes for doing in front of the camera. It makes sense. Lacy was barely out of puberty when she started playing with the Internet, the versatile R&B genre. He was just 18 years old when he started producing for Kendrick. When he was old enough to legally buy beer, he worked with fanatical jammers like Tyler, the Creator, Solange, J. Cole, Blood Orange, Mac Miller, Vampire Weekend, Isaiah Rashad – the list goes on. Your average teenager – too eager and sleepy, or intense and out of the ordinary – won’t be invited into those rooms. Going through all of this is like coming of age boot camp to become a discerning, contemporary musician.

https://www.gq.com/story/gq-hype-steve-lacy Steve Lacy Is a New Kind of Guitar Hero

Russell Falcon

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