Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, rapper Lute (born Luther Nicholson) delivers humble, introspective lyrics, often referencing his life struggles and his parenthood.
He received wide recognition after signing with J. Cole's Dreamville Records, issuing his debut album West 1996, Pt. 2 in 2017, and making notable appearances on the label's Revenge of the Dreamers compilations.
Lute first burst onto the underground hip-hop scene as a member of the rap collective Forever FC, alongside Jimmy Kelso, High I'm Ry, and SchylerChaise. Lute delivered his first solo mixtape, West 1996, in 2012 while still a member of Forever FC, but took a backseat after the birth of his daughter. With the group and Lute receiving plaudits from the likes of Rick Ross and Pete Rock, it wasn't long before he was snapped up by J. Cole in 2015, signing to Cole's then-burgeoning Dreamville imprint. His first effort for the label dropped at the end of that year on the compilation Revenge of the Dreamers II, with his track "Still Slummin'," a posthumous production by J Dilla. Two years later, the single "Juggin'" appeared and signaled Lute's return. His proper debut album, West 1996, Pt. 2 followed, with guest appearances from EarthGang and Elevator Jay. Lute appeared on the chart-topping 2019 compilation Revenge of the Dreamers III, collaborating with J. Cole and DaBaby on the platinum-certified single "Under the Sun." Lute released several singles in 2020, including "Life" and "Get It and Go." ~ Rich Wilson