Review by Matthew Richardson.
When you think of spoken word in Melbourne one name must surely dance through your mind: Luka Lesson.
Lesson is the current National Slam Champion and his true talent shines through in this collection of poems and hip hop songs. He shows the articulation and literary prowess that claimed him the national title was no fluke. This is a long awaited album for Melbourne spoken word enthusiasts and it does not disappoint.
From track one Lesson draws you in in to his world of imagination and inspiration. ‘May your pen grace the page’ is the perfect opening track for the album. For those who have seen Lesson perform you have no doubt heard this piece before. The way Lesson describes the relationship between himself and his pen towards the end of the poem is nothing short of incredible. He shows the true passion and power that can come from this pairing of poet and pen. It is a perfect opener to the album.
He continues the album with a switch between spoken word and hip hop but his true love for hip hop shows through in the spoken word pieces as well. The first hip hop track, ‘Desire’ featuring Screamy is nothing short of spectacular as well. The music and lyrics meld perfectly together to create a song that you will not soon forget.
The third track on the album is the title track, ‘Please Resist Me.’ I may be a little bit biased when it comes to this track because this is by far my favourite slam piece of Lesson’s. The line, “Your resistance brings our evolution,” sums up a lot of how Luka writes and what he hopes to achieve through his poems. He really shows his skills in this piece as well. His speed and annunciation are flawless.
The fourth track on the album is, ‘Killing Time’ featuring Candice Monique. For me this track starts a little bit slow and doesn’t really get me hooked until the second time you hear Candice come in with her amazing vocals. From that moment on I think the track really takes off and quickly becomes one of those tracks that listeners will have stuck in their head for days.
The fifth track on the album is another slam piece that Lesson performed during his win at the National Slam Champs and it is called, ‘The Confluence.’ The words in this piece accompanied by the haunting sounds of the music create a perfect marriage of poetry. The themes of this poem create such vivid imagery of the journey that the two people are on. I would like very much to find out what or who inspired this poem.
The album continues on with the hip hop and poetry alternating. Every single track on this album brings something different and each track will make you think and feel things in a new way. I would also like to extend full credit to Screamy, Candice Monique and Julez as well for all their contributions to the album.
When I asked Lesson for a few thoughts about the album he had this to say:
“The album is 17 tracks of heart and soul. Blood sweat and tears…it is the definitive collection of my work so far in my life and something I won’t put out again… I am already working on my next album but I am so so proud of this one. These pieces have really taken me from totally unknown to a position I am really proud of finally. I have fought to go from unknown depressed poor artist and sufferer of racism…to hopefully a source of inspiration…I can only dream right.”
I then asked him what his favourite track was and why and he had this to say:
“My favourite track on the album is actually ‘Freedom,’ because it takes me back to my roots where I started just playing guitar and singing. I recorded it in my room on my laptop, I took it in to the studio to show the producer just as a demo and he loved it so much we just put it on like it is…mistakes and all!!”
In summary I think that this album will prove to be one of the definitive spoken word/hip hop albums on the Melbourne scene for years to come. For those who already know Luka and do not own this album then I suggest you go buy it immediately and for those who know Luka and own this album then I suggest you go buy it for someone who has not yet heard of him. This is one of those once in a lifetime albums and needs to be shared with all.
The album can be purchased online at Luka’s Bandcamp page.
Matthew Richardson is a Melbourne based performance poet who has been writing for around fifteen years and performing for around 12 months. He is a qualified landscaper and spends both his days and nights making the world a more beautiful place.