- Interests include feeding his kids, achieving indie-king recognition.
That'll describe indie hip-hop emcee Luckyiam on Aug. 5, when he releases Time to Get Lucky, just three days after his birthday.
"I'd say 2008-2009 is my coming-out party," Luckyiam says. "I'm not just one for specific parties, so this is a party for a year or two based on my new album."
That party begins now with a spring club tour. However, there's somewhat of a buzzkill attached to the soire that has officially been titled "Child Support Tour '08."
"It's real life, man," Luckyiam says. "I'm out here. I could come up with some silly, funny name for the tour, but "Child Support Tour' is basically what it is. I got to get out there and get that money for my kids."
Born Tommy Woolfolk, Luckyiam is a Southern California native who in the early '90s dabbled in hip-hop. It was around the time of the Los Angeles riots that the performer got his act together, left town and moved to the Bay Area, where he joined rap outfit Mystik Journeymen.
Mystik's street-tape hustle opened car trunks and doors, which led to Luckyiam founding his own hip-hop crew, Living Legends, and pursuing his own career. While his solo albums the Extra Credit series and Justify the Mean$ were critically accepted, Luckyiam decided he needed a change of approach to stave off becoming stale or predictable. The result is Time to Get Lucky.
"The last album was more calm, and this one, the beats are a little bit harder," Luckyiam says. "I think I'm rapping better, and find myself in the pocket better. And I have beats on there, like dubstep mixed in with some jungle and hard-ass hitting beats, and more beats with, like, A Tribe Called Quest feel from The Low End Theory."
Among the tracks slated to be on the album, as well as to be performed at his upcoming Black Sheep show, are "Epiphany" and "Useless."
"There might be a tinge of old-school, but mainly my aim is, like, futuristic," Luckyiam says. "It's not going to be something too shocking. It's still me, but I think it's going to be something that people really like."
When asked about risks attached to changing his style, Luckyiam goes into a wise old emcee philosopher mode, talking about how every one of his projects is just a chapter in his big old novel. Furthering the metaphor, Time to Get Lucky appears to qualify as the novel's pivotal chapter, the one that determines the main character's success or failure.
Even at such a crucial point, he keeps his ambitions surprisingly modest.
"Mainstream is not really the goal," Luckyiam says. "When I say "mainstream,' it's more like, "We just got a new distribution deal, so it's going to be more accessible.' I'm not really too interested in entering the mainstream. That whole scene to me is kind of silly. I'd rather be, like, one of the indie kings, you know.
"I'm just Luckyiam. Lucky I am to be doing what I'm doing. I'm a lucky bastard, but it goes both ways. Sometimes it's the best of luck, sometimes the worst of luck. So it's a balance."
Luckyiam, with Sandpeople, Distrakt and Sever Truth
The Black Sheep,
2106 E. Platte Ave.
Friday, April 18, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $10, all ages; call 866/468-7621 or visit
To download music: