LUCI has signed to Don’t Sleep Records and unveiled her debut single, “Ash & Dust,” a wildly original statement that points towards the future of hip-hop.

The artist born Lucianna Ania is a trip-hop veteran, and as part of the now-defunct band Defbeat she was influenced by groups like Death Grips and Massive Attack. But if “Ash & Dust” is any indication, her solo project will vibe check everything from punk and gospel to Kanye West.

The track opens with waves of dark synths before stripping back to layers of skittering percussion. Her words are about transformation, but her delivery is somewhere between a rap and a howl, with occasional yips and warbles that suggest being demolished and reborn is even less pleasant than you might imagine.

“Wakin up from ash and dust,” she spits, “They ain’t neva met a bitch like me/ Assassinate the character/ You gone have to come fight me/ I am only passenger/ Pray the lord don’t strike me/ Pray the lord don’t strike me.”


“The truth is I have never been anything less than genuine,” LUCI said in a statement. “My great grandmother would always say, ‘from dirt we come to dirt we go.’ Apparently Adam and Eve rose with human complexes, while being told they were perfect. Well perhaps they were perfect the entire time. I used to think there was something wrong with me, but now I just accept that I am built different. It’s not in me to let anything beat me down. Or paint me as I am not.”

“Ash & Dust” comes with a music video directed by Object and Animal. The lo-fi visuals show LUCI covered in clay and prosthetics, bouncing on a bed, staring into a mirror, and (why not?) smoking a jay, showing the beauty and pain of reinvention. Check it out below.