PIO’s Own Ryan Lucas and A Tribe Called Fresh September 22, 2018 – Posted in: Culture, Fashion X Music – Tags: fashion, Hip-Hop, Music
A Tribe Called Fresh is the name of a collaborative album made by PIO’s own Ryan Lucas in collaboration with a plethora of great artists he has worked with from all over the country throughout the span of his music career. It is an homage/tribute to the iconic group A Tribe Called Quest, following in the spirit of stepping out of the box and not being afraid to explore. There’s hip hop, r&b, dance/edm vibes; overall the different forms and fusions of hip hop. The final 10 minute song produced by Ryan called “Let It Be” features 13 different artists, essentially summing up the collaborative concept all in one song. This project was an opportunity for Ryan to produce 4 tracks alongside some of his longtime producers DJ Cory T (from DC) and Gravity Movement (from Raleigh) and it just dropped in July 2018.
Through an interview with Ryan, I had the opportunity to get a glimpse into his musical origins, passions, and inspirations. Originally from Southeast, Washington DC, Ryan moved to LA a brief 3 years ago. As with any change, there are pros and cons. The move has been an excellent chance for him to indulge in a variety of performance opportunities, gain visibility amongst entertainment industry professionals, and space for growth as a performer within his confidence and comfort while on a stage. As he grows in his craft, he tends to miss out on milestone moments with his family that still reside in the DC area, but without the challenge of relocating, his artistry would not be as evolved. Finding and maintaining balance is the key to his continued success.
Ryan’s power in one is encouraging people to be higher forms of themselves through music, essentially inspiring through the scope of music.
If you are not already familiar with Power in One and it’s origins, Ryan is also one of the founding partners of the brand. He and Atuya have been friends since their freshman year of college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Atuya and Kerrick had been friends since high school and that friendship linked all three of them. As young professionals post college, they wanted to start a business that focused on fashion while introducing the opportunity to uplift people. It began with brainstorming ideas like creating a retailer that carried brands they liked. After they came up with the name Power in One(PIO), Ryan developed a t-shirt highlighting Kenya as a way to raise funds for his trip to Nairobi, Kenya where he would visit orphanages and help repair water filtration systems. He used the t-shirts as a platform to bring awareness to the cause he sought after. While working to cultivate the brand PIO, Ryan was simultaneously nurturing his music.
Music has always been a form of expression for him and it all began with writing poetry in grade school. As rap being his favorite, naturally he turned his poetry into raps. Throughout college it was more of a hobby that he would do occasionally, some of which was with a small music group. After college he was part of another group called Subwoofer Science from 2006-2008. Even when he tries to put it down to focus on other conventions, music finds its way back into his life. Once things ended with the group, he pursued more solo gigs and began to take this hobby more seriously. Around 2010, his focus became eating, sleeping, drinking, and just living the music he enjoyed creating. This passion led to several collaborative projects and by 2013, he started a band called DC Gentlemen. With the urge to expand his brand and start traveling more, he began going up and down the east coast to major cities to perform. He even had the chance to go to LA and that is what sparked his move there in 2015. Throughout this time (the 2000s-now) Ryan has managed to produce 6 albums with hundreds of performances under his belt. Throughout that time he has also learned the best ways to maintain professional relationships that worked in his best interest such as being in business with people that wanted to see him succeed as much as he wanted to instead of the opposite. Ryan says that his “music is a thermostat, not the temperature; making solution based music.”
As with most creatives, inspiration comes from life experiences and the need to express thoughts and emotions that those experiences evoke. Most of Ryan’s content is derived from how the world impacts him. It also exists as a reflection of his life. As he put it his music is, “a mirror that sheds light on the emotion” in order to “elevate and uplift for the sake of others,” Currently, his music focuses on the exploration of one’s purpose in relationships and the idea that the focus of marriage could be on the movement of empowerment instead of just love. This concept lends itself to the idea that a couple’s love can be the foundation for what they are doing for their community essentially uniting through the love for their people similar to what Michelle and Barack Obama represent in their mutual support. He is toying with the idea that a couple can be in love with each other and their purposes (individually and as a collective.) I believe that everyone is unique in their individuality, but each individual is a part of a greater sum, ie. all the identifiers that inform the way the world sees us. I think Ryan’s exploration of one’s purpose in a relationship is a thoughtful way of looking at the dynamics of a serious romantic relationship. In his developing song “Nation Building”, Ryan discusses the idea of “possession within relationships and making it about love more than of self, but of the world around you.”
Ryan’s music also focuses on staying timeless with his message, classic ideas that withstand time, era, and lifetimes. His sound may not ride the wave of what’s trending in music, but it gives off a fruitful vibe, leaving you with something to think about. The Motown music from the 70s mixed with classic hip hop sounds have inspired and led him to find himself musically. Ryan insists that “truth is truth no matter when it is said; speaking to what is beyond the times. Liberation is about questioning all the little details.” If we continue to promote for people to think for themselves and to be free in their minds, it allows them to be who they are in truth, not in idealism based in social norms. As a human being, a creative, and a businessman, Ryan has liberated himself from fitting into stereotypes.
Ryan’s main mode of developing a song starts with writing and sometimes finding/creating a beat to match the tone and mood of the content while other times it involves developing dope instrumentals to write to. Ryan has plenty of thoughtful gems to drop, in his music and in conversations. He says that “happiness is not a painting, it has to come from within. You don’t have to change the world, but you can change your world. Every opportunity to travel or do anything is about allowing yourself to just do it.” For Ryan that entails performing. He wants to do exactly what he believes he should be doing which is sharing through the music. And as a managing partner of Power In One, that also entails sharing through the platform of fashion. He is not trying to be basic or overly lyrical, but captivating “like sweet medicine, the tussin (robitussin) in ya bones.”
To keep up with Ryan’s music and inspirational vibes, visit https://ryanlucasdc.com. You can find him on any digital platform that sells music by searching his name Ryan Lucas (rapper). Also check out his instagram to see where he’ll be next at @ryanlucasdc. There is also a limited edition A Tribe Called Fresh shirt available for purchase through Power In One’s website.
Written by Naomi Crumpley
Resident Fashion Consultant/Blogger , Power In One