Lucas Skywalk – Sky’s The Limit
His real name Lucas John de Herrera, his emcee name – Lucas Skywalk! Lucas is Half Mexican (dad) and half Minnesotan (mom) and represents Seattle to the fullest. Lucas is age 34 and he started laying tracks in 2011. So when it comes to his artistry he is still pretty young in that regard. Skywalk was a hip hop observer (like Fringe) but has always been attracted to Hip Hop’s energy and raw, no filter Lyrical Law, but he now states that “it has changed”. Lucas grew up on 2Pac, Bone Thugs, Wu-tang, DJ Quick, Brother Lynch, Big Pun, DMX, Lox, Young Em, Joe Budden, Royce 5’9, Outcast, Daz n Kurupt Busta Rhymes, Biggie and the one rapper that blew him away was Canibus.
Lucas sites Bis as the inspiration to start writing his raps. Outside of Lucas musical aspirations he grew up a navy brat and has lived in Alaska, California and now Seattle. Lucas is the average Joe, he has one brother and is married and works a normal day job with the city. On his day to day grind he often envisions being a force on this Hip Hop game. It’s now Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and with the Summer approaching we got to kick it with Mr.Skywalk and it went a little something like this.
Hiphoplead- Ok so for starts how did you come up with your name Lucas Skywalk?
Lucas Skywalk- Well some peeps called me that in my younger days and for me it is small metaphor/symbol for being very skilled as young Skywalker was. Not being afraid to levitate and fly above the world we live in, which can put you in a box if you let it. In other words, keep your mind above the lowest common denominator and aim for the stars. My first rap name, when I would just kick freestyles was Pale Rhymer, (like Pale Rider, Clint Eastwood), but that was just a little too corny.
Hiphoplead- We know coming from Seattle isn’t an easy task as far as a viable Hip hop market. How has the region affected you since trying to get put on?
Lucas Skywalk- Yeah Seattle isn’t the street cred capital, but it is a great city, proud to be from here. #1 fastest growing city in America, so in the coming years we may see some things from Seattle, hopefully! Hey and respect to Macklemore, dude put us on the map with his movement and he is doing what all signed emcees wish they could, putting out music on his terms and owns all his own rights, salute to that! Seattle is a cutting edge City at the forefront of modern issues, weed and gay marriage, city planning etc. It is a progressive city, so I hope the label that Seattle ain’t Hip Hop doesn’t last much longer, hope I can assist with that. Seattle loves Hip Hop, that is a great song title, need to work on that one. I’m just going keep doing Hip Hop as long as it stays fun because I realized after finishing my first project will always be a part of my soul. Some energy just can’t be easily explained.
Hiphoplead- You made it clear you don’t know Macklemore (laughs) but does his presence help on the come up Seattle emcees?
Lucas Skywalk- Oh hell yes it helps Seattle, it made us viable and to see the numbers he put up with an indie record was just inspiring, very happy for him and Ryan Lewis. I am not sure my style is even close to his, but he carved his own lane. There is a lot of hate on Macklemore, but that is to be expected, a red headed white kid on top of the game, that shows that Hip Hop is colorless IMO. I am anxious to see if puts on any of his homies on with his success, so we will see about that and hey I haven’t got bust some flows for him yet, so you never know.
Hiphoplead- Would you say your diverse sounds come from living in so many different areas?
Lucas Skywalk- Of course my moves in my family’s navy days did shape who I am, my outgoing personality and my beliefs to an extent, but mostly it was me growing up a bit before I started writing/recording. I had to get a little educated and become a man before I had any business on the mic. I try to create songs that aren’t fake and didn’t just flow for no know how, I am big lyrics guy, but I am not trying be Canibus (who could), trying to find my own lane as long as it’s real and true that is my lane. I don’t want to promote reckless behavior either and I think some Hip Hop tricks the youth into thinking certain ways/behavior doesn’t have huge consequences and it can ruin people’s lives. The power of music and messages is just so strong and it takes some maturity to understand that. Man I thought I wanted to be gangster in the 90’s, turns out I was just following the crew at chow time. Every man/woman has to take a stand and take a long look at himself throughout their lives and I wanted to be able to look myself in the eyes and feel comfortable with that. If a man can accomplish that, he won’t have problem making real raps.
Hiphoplead- Who were your personal influences to get into music?
Lucas Skywalk- As I said it was Canibus who really inspired me to start writing, some of the stuff that dude puts down is just ridiculous he is monster/legend/GOAT but I will leave Bis alone. I did memorize Bone Thugs raps, Bizzy and Krazy’s parts mostly but I got love for Wish, Lazy and Flesh too. But as far as people in my life, Justin Gabriel, a high school really good friend, we used just freestyle all the time, that really built the love, talking 92-93 days. Then off to college UW baby! Where my DAWGS at? Hip Hop was and mostly is all we listen to. I used to spit Canibus’ 100 bars at Karaoke in my college days before even penning anything. Always freestlying at parties, once you let go anybody can do it. The older I got the less freestyling I was doing parties, so didn’t do it for a couple years. I met my boy Bryan Forza he started a barber shop on Aurora in N Seattle (Prana Cuts), he built a booth in the basement, I got excited and said to myself the time is now and he introduced me to 206 A$$a$$in a veteran local Seattle artist. Dude is ultra talented musically, he produced and recorded the whole album SKWALK and the rest was history, until more is made.
Hiphoplead- To be clear what projects have you released to date?
Lucas Skywalk- Only that 1, SKWALK – 2014 – 7 track ep. I’m hungry for another.
Hiphoplead- Your new debut album, “Lucas Skywalk (2014)”, is out now. What was the creative process like writing this EP?
Lucas Skywalk- 206 produced all the songs and gave them to me all at once, we picked through some etc. Happy Hour was supposed to be the only one, but I went and got hooked after that J. Shit is like a drug, writing and timing. For the writing, I just took it song by song, writing down concepts with what I felt the track was giving me and just keep working at it and start to formulate flows based on that feeling. Write/text/email myself all the time with lines that just come to me.
I wanted to make a somewhat diverse but accessible album, nothing too dark, but I got some good one’s in there. I wanted a 100 bar track like the big homie Bis, so that is the hwy 101 track that is an homage to Bis’ 100 bar track from 2000 B.C. I wanted to show I can change it up and be a diverse emcee but that the heads would also be like damn he did kind of go in there. Beats and rhymes doesn’t get any more pure.
Hiphoplead- How would you describe your sound?
Lucas Skywalk- Lyrical, funny, flow, grown, real + quick tongue with some strong metaphors. Honestly I’m your buddy you kick with and go to Happy Hour, go ball with or golf with. I just love Hip Hop, plain and simple.
But I do want to make it hard for the listener to rap my part. I like to change flows to break up tracks, the transitions are the toughest. I want people to think, “I need to play that back!”
I am going more futuristic soon with the production.
Hiphoplead- What is your favorite banger off the album?
Lucas Skywalk- Man…I guess for Banger its gotta be “What I’m about,” that is just a nasty ass bass line and I will bring back the word “throbs” for that one. That beat is a Banger, 206 A$$a$$in named it gargantuan before he gave it to me.
Hiphoplead- On “What I’m About” you really were throwing some lyrical jabs around. Do you think that type of aggression is missing in Hip Hop nowadays?
Lucas Skywalk- YES! Man everybody knows you can catch a lot fish with a wide net, but man some of this ish out is just laughable. Kendrick and Lupe give me hope though, whew those guys got it. I hope Bis don’t retire. We need a young new Jordan to lead the movement #anewbis. We will see, he will reveal himself soon. I miss looking back and being man you just hear that? Now I’m like WTF did this fool just say!!?? it’s an embarrassment sometime. I still have hope that the pendulum will swing to the mainstream lyrical return, but underground will always be here but there are of talented people that aren’t getting what they deserve out there.
Hiphoplead- How has Lucas Skywalk evolved since your start in 2011?
Lucas Skywalk- Man a lot, more perspective, SKYWALK was done between 2011 and now. I learned a lot on that first one, man. Really fun to get better though. I also just got married, crazy, she’s a hot architect, got me! Love you Kim! The timing, picking the beat up and really hearing it is just a great feeling, emcees know what I’m talking about! I have some new production/sound and concepts working with a friend. I enjoy the whole process of being able to one take the vocal. I appreciate that you really have to keep working at the whole verse if you really want to kill it. I like the completion of it, it’s close to sports, sometimes you win sometimes you lose, but you keep playing.
Hiphoplead- So being as young as you are artist wise, but over 30 years old. Do you feel your age can hurt you as an emcee, or should age not matter?
Lucas Skywalk- Oh I am sure it might hurt me, but it doesn’t discourage me. I do it for other reasons, it would be cool to just try to focus on music for a bit and not work to see what I could do. Life is busy but I will still do it, if that makes sense.
Hiphoplead- When you first went in to write and record “Happy Hour” it sparked a flame in you which turned into your EP. What was it about crafting that first song that lit the fire for you?
Lucas Skywalk- It was just an idea, I just thought everybody I know hits Happy Hour and I wanted a feel good song. I was nervous it was the first time ever recording, but 206 was supportive and dug my stuff, big ups for that. His cuz Fe Styles laid the hook right after I left the studio just being nice since it was my first song, he was digging the concept. Now that is Hip Hop and the hook turned out dope. I am going to remix that song soon probably, always makes me smile and so does the song.
Hiphoplead- You recently performed for the first time in Seattle. What was it like hitting the stage for the first time? Fun, nerve racking?!
Lucas Skywalk- Lots of nerves, yeah, but I came off alright, I was happy with it. But the energy was crazy, people were dancing to DiscoWalk so I was good then. I will have some sort of video soon. In it end it was the best thing I’ve done personally in long time. There was some talent in the room too, so I was honored to be there, but I went it, it was flowing.
Hiphoplead- Outside of Emceeing do you Produce as well?
Lucas Skywalk- No, next item for study…
Hiphoplead- What is it like balancing a 9-5 gig as well as pursuing your dream in music
Lucas Skywalk- Man yeah it is tough, but I am trying to write more and I have a new project. One thing you learn in your 30s its coming for us all. To make it you have to work hard, wish I could get a little grant and do it full time for three months and see what I could produce. Man, I need to write a note to myself to make that happen! Right now I’m enjoying it as a hobby, but nothing like creating music and hearing the finished project and being somewhat satisfied with it. The creation process brings you places that are exciting in many ways intellectually and the bond with the music is soul food.
Hiphoplead- One song that intrigued us was “Discowalk”. It was basically like going back to the basics.. just a dope funky beat and some fun word play. We first heard that joint on Digital Dynasty 29 and now we peeped it out again and it was just as pulsating. How did the creative process come together for making this record?
Lucas Skywalk- It was the remix of the title track “Skywalk” with my buddy Adam Battaglia on the hook. That is the Hip Hop Version and the remix was the funky horns killen em mix. I wanted to make a song they could play in the club with Hip Hop ver., but I wanted it to have slow flow and be witty, a little emceeing in there you know. For me I think it’s harder to rap slow. I like the original too, but those horns are just dope on Discowalk.
Hiphoplead- Any plans for a music video for that song or any others?
Lucas Skywalk- Yeah I have the video/audio of my live performance and am working to get it together and released on FB. Not sure about videos, maybe for Discowalk, but I have a new album working.
Hiphoplead- Any new projects coming out after this? Any features?
Oh yeah the next project is going to be more along the lines of Discowalk and more futuristic. I hope to release it this year. Untitled as yet, but really excited. It will be one producer for the whole album. There will be features but still early.
Hiphoplead- Hit me with 8 of your favorite bars you ever spit…
Lucas Skywalk- Ok its 10… but I couldn’t cut it out J
I Spit flames on this game n u ain’t matchin me
Identical twins don’t have the audacity to start harassin me
How u gonna start attackin me, you probably drive a camer-ee
Have you shakin like a tambourine not even a .com is matchin me
Turn you out like a factory these cats wanna trash at me
I just recycle it as flattery, n transform that energy magically
Thinkin u out rappin me, u crazy, suicide ends tragically
This shit ain’t nothing but a piece a crap to me pimp slappin trees
Throwing at McGuire so I’m hittin my mark snipers camouflaged in the dark,
so I’m hittin hearts where them cross hairs &^%$ing embark/
“You Oughta Know” – 2nd verse
Hiphoplead- Who does Seattle lean towards for more inspiration … the Nas and Jay z’s or the Snoops and Dre’s ?
Lucas Skywalk- I would have to say for me, Nas, he is revered everywhere but I buy Nas’ albums. Dre would be close second. Hey they are all legends we would show love for all those guys in Seattle, built Hip Hop in a lot ways with all them. There influence is inescapable like them or not.
Here at HipHopLead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm. We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you.So lets get it cracking ….
Hiphoplead- What do you think of Dr. Dre becoming the first Hiphop billionaire?!?
Lucas Skywalk- More power to him, or I hope he uses the power for good, maybe he does and I am not researched, better watch myself. Dre is a legend I love his stuff, I grew up on The Chronic, it is such a great album for the genre and to see him up there now and hip hop on his badge, it is a great nod to Hip Hop. Shows that marketing yourself in more than just Hip Hop can get you throw-up rich. He’s an OG vet Billionaire, he worked for it, respect. He can have a real affect on the music if he wanted to with that kind of clout.
Hiphoplead- Other than music what do you do with your time?
Lucas Skywalk- Hit happy hour! Meet for drinks around Green Lake. I play b-ball, flag football, that makes you feel like you’re in HS again, great. I bike to work when it’s nice in Seattle, been good lately, hang with my brother/parents. I love most sports, good competition, I snow board decently, like back packing (hey it’s the Northwest)! I honestly recently have been writing when I have free time, but life has been busy lately. Love to travel, Mexico is close, so I try to hit Sayulita PV sometimes. Whenever I can escape the grind and recharge, life is too short to not stop and smell the coffee. The 40 hour work week takes a toll on ya while trying to make music for sure.
Hiphoplead- Tell us a hidden talent you have?
Lucas Skywalk- Hearing celebrities voice-overs and knowing who they are. My thumbs are double jointed too, weird, helps with mic gripping, ha.
Hiphoplead- Do you think President Obama has done enough to help the people of America?
Lucas Skywalk- Within the American political system, Yes.
Hiphoplead- Should Donald Sterling have to give up his NBA team?
Lucas Skywalk- He’s going to have to, point of no return for him. It’s a new era and he can’t get a pass. It will play out way too long, but that may be a good thing for America, face our racism. He got tricked by the woman but hey he made his bed, he’ll be just fine…
Back To The Norm…….
Hiphoplead- Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHopLead.com viewers hooked!?
Lucas Skywalk- I Would say besides DiscoWalk, “U Oughta Know” displays some of my talents best, Billy Joel sample killing em J. Still young in this game even at 34, but I just want to do more.
Hiphoplead- Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts….links to your sites….F.U.’S or whatevers clever!
Lucas Skywalk- Shout out to my family my wife Kim I love you dearly, my mom Betsy dad Juan and my brother Roque. Shout to my boy Brian Forza at Prana Cuts in North Seattle, he helped me get started and his support was great after I proved myself. The 206 A$$a$$in, forever grateful for your talent on the project and your tutelage getting my flow and breath down. Last but not least shout to Scott Swayze, DJ, beat making freak talent, who mastered my music and will continue to work with. Shout to Jon Mansen for letting me perform at his Art Show - “Welcome the Stranger” @ Prana Cuts on 3/29, he is an incredible all around talent out of North Seattle. He let me open for a band that his brother kills the drums in – Deep Sea Diver – who are ridiculous, so great live, thank you I was honored and will never forget that.
Yeah here is my FB and Soundcloud pages
Thanks for the time and opportunity, move forward hip hop! I will continue to pursue music, it’s just something that cannot be denied. Hip Hop has powers that can unite and help us feel the collective.