Sometimes talent and critical acclaim simply isn't enough. Portland's own Luck One has just released "Farewell," a track with a name that says it all. Luck One says he doesn't see a future for himself in the music business so he plans to put out his final album next year, and wind up his career in Hip Hop.
He's going to keep going for the next year, he says, but he wants to travel and he can't do that when he's grinding all year round just to pay the bills. His career has brought him adulation and fans, but not options.
"I don't mind being broke," he says. "I've been broke my whole life. It's not having the money to do anything else but rap."
Luck One has struggled to make a living in Portland. He's always in demand to open for big names visiting the city, but after losing hours from his day job last year, he couldn't make the rent and had to sleep in his car. The city can't support its rap stars as well as some others, he says. And producing musically takes a lot of resources.
"I have to be here all year round to release music and I feel like I've had enough. I've been doing my thing here for years. It takes a lot of dollars, energy and stress – particularly in Portland. I get more love from Seattle than I do in Portland," he says. "People just don't appreciate local rappers that much. But I'm not a hater. I'm just at a point where I'm probably not going to do a lot more in hip hop.
"It's been great to make an impact and reach an audience, but at this point I'm not going to take up my pen for anything else but to express myself.
"I want to go overseas and just travel, visit South America, Africa. Right now it's kind of impossible to do other things. So much as I love what I'm doing, there are more things I want to do."
Luck One's friend, local rapper Cassow, says he wants to keep on working with him. "I hope he changes his mind," Cassow says.
Other hip hop fans agree. The Portland-based website, Hip Hop Junkies says Luck One demands respect. And in her music blog Sunset in the Rearview Lydia Simmons praised his latest track saying, "His flow and his lines sound matured, yet clever. On top of that, he's a very humble young man who is a joy to talk to…I am really looking forward to seeing how Luck-One makes a name for himself, and I can tell you right now that I do believe he'll be doing just that."
If nothing turns up to change his mind, you might soon be calling him by his non-rap name, Hanif Collins. But he says he'll be around for the next year at least. And he still has 100 songs he's working to release.
"I'll just be making music, saving money and getting back to living life on my own terms," he says.
Luck One will be doing some shows in January and February, with dates and times to be announced. His next firm performance will be Dec. 29 at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St.
Download Luck's new track from bandcamp.com or visit his website LuckOneConscious.com