As the leader of the Tomorrow Gang, Luke Christopher has some serious responsibility. The Los Angeles rapper has flipped his online buzz into a budding career, labeling the movement of listeners that catapulted him into the spotlight as the #TMRWGANG.
Luke’s work caught the eye of ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records, ultimately leading to the rapper signing a deal with the label in 2013. Luke now has a total of two mixtapes and a stylish video for his single “Life Jackets” under his belt as he continues to make waves in the industry. But outside of his concerns about increasing his dedicated fan base and making impact on the charts, Luke is still driven largely by his goal to inspire listeners with what he calls “good music.”
After dropping his mixtapes, The Wonder Years Pt. 1 and TMWR TMWR, Luke is now readying his debut studio album. Describing the project’s sound as we chatted on the sun-filled rooftop of a New York City photo studio, Luke admitted the album pulls inspiration from a peculiar combo of musical icons. “It’s a mix of Kanye meets the Beatles meets a Frank Ocean type of sound,” Luke said. “It’s kind of off because every song sounds unique in its own way. But what I think is consistent is the vibe through.”
An avid follower of Kanye West, Luke has taken notes on the trajectory of one hip-hop’s most controversial figures as he makes his own path through the industry. But Luke is not afraid to take a constructive look at the evolving sound of one of his favorite rappers either. “Sonically, I like the early stuff better. I think his best album probably is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” said Luke. “I think he lost sight of the fact that people just want good music. I’m not a fan of Yeezus. I didn’t like the album that much, but I still respect the artistry. He tried to push the boundaries but he didn’t have the lovable music.”
Luke’s debut album has become reality largely from the large following he gained through digital music outlets like SoundCloud. He recognizes the role such limitless access to so many types of artists has in shaping the soundscape, and he’s using that knowledge to create for a sound that overcomes genre labels.
“I want to be like a champion. There’s so much good music out there but people can’t hear it because it’s not easy to love. I want to make music that’s easy to love and easy to like but at the same time there’s substance. There were times when people were doing that, like Michael Jackson was doing that and the Beatles and even Kanye when he first came out. But we need that now. “We need someone to be like ‘Let’s make dope shit that sounds different but has substance,'” Luke said.
Words: Treye Green
Photography: Ricardo Nelson
Fashion: Chris Sandford