EP Review | T.Lucas & Substantial – Dirty Sneakers

This extended play was released on May 22nd this year. T.Lucas is an artist from the DMV who I learned about thanks to Substantial. This project was my introduction to him. After I learned about this EP, I heard his feature on K-Beta‘s recent EP, Stuff, and I was really blown away. He slaughtered his verse on that project, so that just made me even more eager to check this one out. I’d heard a handful of songs from T.Lucas, but I still wasn’t really that familiar with him as an artist, so I pretty much went into this with no expectations. I was just looking forward to hearing some well written songs and dope beats, since every track is produced by Substantial.

The project begins with My Sole. The jazzy production from Substantial is really detailed and intricate, and the verses from T.Lucas are super well written. I think this track works really well as an intro for the rest of the project. The first verse was cool, but the second one was way more impressive to me personally. I think the hook on this track is pretty dope too. The screwed vocals that come in towards the end were a nice touch. It’s a dope track. It’s followed by a major highlight called The New Balance (Live from the DMV).

This song actually begins with a glorious verse from Substantial himself, which was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect him to actually rap at any point on this project for whatever reason. He slaughtered this joint though. I wish y’all could’ve seen my face the first time I heard it.

Follow orders I’m hoppin’ boarder across the water
I’m the sort of performer that kill it out on the corner
Or the festival stage, don’t engage, it’s a slaughter
Cyphers my arcade, I leave the game out of order
On my daughters, DDT ’em before I tag you in
Not a rap god or devil, bruh, I’m just a rap mutant


Y’all, this man said, “a change gon’ come like I skeet quarters, how’s that for a moneyshot?”


T.Lucas came in on the second verse and slaughtered this shit too. Hearing these dudes rap together here was fucking awesome.

Use the same flame that’s in Hades to light my swishers up
Same flame I use to torch you and light the olympics up
None of my predecessors even interest us
We inches from burnin’ up all the bridges, missile in your militia
This is an intervention of slittin’ they wrists with suicidal intentions
And too much valium prescriptions, I’m on a mission
Computer virus to all you wizards
Seances with witches in rooms painted with hieroglyphics

My lort

The dark piano-driven production on this track is fucking awesome too, and I love the scratches on the hook and outro from DJ RBI. I love everything about it. It’s dope af. This song is followed by Dirty Sneakers, which features another artist named JDA. It’s another highlight for me. Once again, I love the piano driven production, and T.Lucas sounds hungrier here than he does anywhere else on the project. The beat has a really tense, kind of dire, urgent aura to it.

I wake up on the floor of this basement
Roaches crawlin’ adjacent, now that’s what I call a motivation
Why I’m still in this bitch, and I ain’t make it out yet?
Why I ain’t got no drip, and no latest outfit?

I think this song has a really good hook too, and the second verse from JDA is great. He raps more about police terrorizing communities of color. Overall, I think it’s one of the best songs on the project. The following two tracks are Pennies to the Penthouse & Wishing Well, which I’d previously covered in my Best Singles of the Week posts. I’m not gonna write about them all over again since my opinion hasn’t changed, but in a nutshell, I think they’re both awesome.

Honestly, I actually think this project is amazing. Since there are only five songs they really didn’t have much room for error, and they thankfully knocked this thing outta the park. I think it’s one of the best projects I’ve heard all year. Substantial’s production is still top notch and better than it needs to be in all honesty. T.Lucas could’ve done his thing over some average production and it still would’ve been a good project, but Substantial’s production really put this over the top for me. T.Lucas himself is a very talented MC, and he sounds like a seasoned songwriter. I really don’t have any gripes with this project to be honest. I’d love to hear more work from these two in the future because this shit is dope as hell. Don’t sleep on it.

Favorite Song: The New Balance (Live from the DMV)
Least Favorite Song: My Sole


A flat
Grade: A

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