Lute's Dreamville debut, West 1996 Pt. 2, due on Friday

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Nearly two years ago, Charlotte rapper Lute announced he had signed with J. Cole's Dreamville label. His debut album for the label, the long-awaited West 1996 Pt. 2, is finally set for release this Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

It's a big moment for the 28-year-old rapper, born Luther Nicholson, who was on the verge of leaving the music industry just before he got signed. The father of a newborn, Lute's priorities had changed and he knew he had to do right by his daughter and hold down a day job. He was on the verge of releasing an album that was going to be his farewell to the rap game when a 2 a.m. phone call from J. Cole changed his world.

Instead of saying goodbye, he's waited two years to say, "I'm back." The story is told in a short documentary, Lute: Still Slummin', that was released last week. The film lets Lute tell the story of his signing and gives insight into his home life.


Since his signing, he's been on tour with Cole and was featured on 2015's Revenge of the Dreamers 2 album, but this is the moment fans, and Lute himself, have been waiting for.

We've been expecting big things from Lute ever since his debut mixtape, West 1996, put him and his crew, Forever FC, on the map. The talented lyricist with the old-school flow earned a Creative Loafing Best of Staff Pick award for Best Local Rapper back in 2012. We've been looking forward to the new release for quite some time and can't wait to see what's in store for his burgeoning career.

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