I first met Lucio 5-6 years ago. He was standing on Dickson St. in front of the brew pub handing out flyers for one of the first underground hip hop shows I’d ever even heard of in Fayetteville.
I’m sure it wasn’t the first, just as I’m sure Lucio is certainly not the first rapper in Fayetteville, but I do know that hearing about a hip hop show in town now wouldn’t stop me in my tracks the way that it did years ago because, thanks in large part to Lucio, live hip hop in Fayetteville is a common occurrence now-a-days.
Even if you haven’t seen one of Lucio’s shows, you’ve still probably met him. He’s was that bad ass, super laid-back, friendly waiter that used to work at Hog Wild pizza (RIP).
Now a bartender at Smoke and Barrel, Lucio also hosts something called “Grown Folks Night,” which is a regular hip-hop night at the club, which happens to be awesome.
You can check him out at Grown Folks Night at the Smoke and Barrel August 14th, featuring Bizar, EQ, and Rockst*r, Ceephor, and of course, Lucio.
You can also check out one of his tracks right below this interview.
Fayetteville Flyer: What have you been listening to lately?
Lucio: Lots of UGK , Seu Jorge, Life Aquatic Soundtrack, Mos Def, and The One Ups.
FF: How long have you been rapping in Fayetteville?
Lucio: About 7 years, but it seems like forever. I remember my first shows were at house parties. Me and my best friend, DJ Phez would bring speakers, 2 turn tables and a mic to random house parties and just take over. That’s how we got the name V.I.L.N.Z. (villains) by the way we would just steal the party or the show.
Then we took over a Mexican restaurant called Casa Torres and I started throwing rap battles. After that it was straight to Dickson Street for a few years of shows. I can say that I was one of the first people in Arkansas to get paid for hip hop shows instead of paying to play. I also released an EP on Bombcity Records.
FF: Where’d the name Lucio come from?
Lucio: My birth name is Robert Baldomero Warner. I was always the leader of the pack, kinda like Rufio is the leader of the lost boys from the movie Hook, so that was kinda my nickname. At the time I was into graffiti and I did not want to write that name, so I started writing different styles of the name. When I wrote Lucio the first time I hated it but Phez was like, “Naw that’s you homie. LUCIO!”
FF: Live hip-hop has been kind of sparse in Fayetteville in years past, but it seems to be picking up some steam. Would you agree?
Lucio: After the hype of my EP died I was going through a dark time in my life so I just left Fayetteville for a few years and traveled around ending up in South Florida.
Now that I have moved back I have made sure that there is a hip hop show at least once a month and feel that I do my part in bringing live hip hop to the people of Fayetteville.
FF: There’s some pretty awesome stuff happening in Little Rock as well, with 607, Epiphany, Gina Gee and others starting to make their way up to Fayetteville more often. Ever venture down to Little Rock to show them a little of what Fayetteville’s got?
Lucio: I have been bringing countless Little Rock acts to Fayetteville for quite some time. On August 14 at Smoke & Barrel, we have Rockst*r, probably the biggest Little Rock hip hop act right now. I have brought Piph and Gina Gee (my favorite Little Rock act) to Fayetteville several times, but I have only been invited to Little Rock one time by a cat named Gforce. (He’s) is a kick ass DJ and one of the few Little Rock people to show me some love.
FF: Describe a Lucio live show for those who’ve never seen it.
Lucio: When you swing by Smoke & Barrel on Friday Aug. 14th you will see high energy and booty shaking! I don’t have a hype man and I don’t rap over recorded words so its all me. I put 110% into each song, sometimes getting too hype and I will end up winding myself from jumping around on stage. I figure that If I don’t go all out then I am cheating my audience so I would rather over do it than under do it. I always do a little freestyle for the people as well.
FF: Do you have anything recorded, and if so, where can we get a copy?
Lucio: My old EP is avalible online somewhere. Just google Lucio Baldomero and it will be the first thing that comes up. I’m working on getting all my new songs recorded but funds are a little low at this time.
FF: What kinds of things do you write about when you write songs?
Lucio: Everything from relationships to spaceships. All you can ever rap about is what you know. I know people, places, motorcycles, and video games. I guess there is always an underlying theme of having fun and I think that’s important.
FF: What are some other Fayetteville bands that we should check out?
Lucio: The One Ups and all their side projects, Guta, Killroy , 1oz Jig, Flipoff Pirates, and if I remember correctly the last Good Fear show kicked ass.
FF: What’s next for Lucio? Any studio plans?
Lucio: Right now im looking for a live band to play with that has a killer keyboard player. I feel that I’m one of the best MC’s around and need to have a band that has the same confidence and drive. They also must have the ability to make booty’s shake!
As far as the studio plans go I’m ready. I just need a few more good beats and a place that’s willing to work with me. Studio time cost a lot these days. Other than that you can catch me “Rydin on my motorbike front wheel liftin.”
Click below to hear Upward Bound by Lucio