Interviews

Published on September 1st, 2018 | by Jerry Doby

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Rapper Arabb Luciano On Debut Joint ‘Don’t Understand’ feat. Rick Ross and More

On Set: Ayman Baker, Arabb Luciano, Rick Ross and Tamer Refaie during "Don't Understand" video shoot in Chicago, IL

On Set: Ayman Baker, Arabb Luciano, Rick Ross and Tamer Refaie during “Don’t Understand” video shoot in Chicago

When we discuss artists going from the streets to the suites, it’s often a long-running journey with lots of super-grind and disappointment as well as horror stories. Rising Chicago rapper Arabb Luciano has those stories as well, however, his debut single Don’t Understand Ft. Rick Ross, precisely one-year after his release from prison has him well on his way in an industry that is easy to get overlooked in. Co-founder of Crescent Records along with his managers Ayman Baker and Tamer Refaie, the business-minded trio caught the ear and business imagination of Ross who flew into Chicago to lay his verse on the joint AND appear in the music video for the single. Crescent Records now has a collaboration with Ross’ MMG…I’d say that is a heck of a story!

We got Arabb to weigh in on his successful debut single and the journey he and his partners took to make this dream come true…it’s a true story of grind and intestinal fortitude on multiple levels

Arabb Luciano (Press Photo)

Arabb Luciano (Press Photo)

Taking center stage for the first time in a big way with your debut joint “Don’t Understand” feat. Rick Ross, tell us from the outside looking in, who is the artist Arabb Luciano?

Arabb Luciano puts family first, that is coded in my DNA. Watching from the outside looking in Arabb Luciano is a fresh new take on the Hip Hop scene, I am paving my way into the industry on my own terms with the help of my co-founders/managers Ayman Baker and Tamer Refaie. I Feel grateful that my music career is rising faster then I imagined after only having released my first single ‘Don’t Understand’ ft. Rick Ross, I know I have musical talent and I will be creative and humble and feeling blessed as I take this journey into my new life.

You only recently began your foray into the music industry debut, what brought you to this sector of entertainment in addition to your acting and writing?

When I was in high school I was always used to the spotlight I was a state wrestler and on the varsity football team, I had scholarships to multiple colleges, I loved writing music and just rapping with my friends for fun while hanging out and just contemplating the next step of my life, there is a point in my life right after I graduated high school I got in trouble with the law and I served 3 years of my life in prison, I went in at 18 and was released when I was 21. In my last year of incarceration, I ended up meeting Kevin Gates the rapper who I spent my last year of incarceration with and I got to know him and become one of his friends and while I was incarcerated and I got to know Kevin better I realized I wanted to be in the music industry and started writing a lot more in jail.

I never asked Kevin for any help as I didn’t want him to think that’s why I became friends with him, now I’m out of prison and when Kevin was released we stayed friends and hung out while he was staying in Chicago and we stay in contact with each other still.

“Don’t Understand” is a high energy call-out joint, what’s on the slate musically to follow this outstanding debut?

I have completed over a dozen songs since the release of ‘Don’t Understand’ and they are going to be a fresh new style I will bring to the industry. I’m here to add a new style to Hip Hop and bring a light to my music that I will be releasing.

What’s been the most exciting about creating the joint venture “Crescent Music Group” and where do you see the label headed? Will the label be a multi-artist platform or mainly a vehicle for Arabb Luciano?

Crescent Music Group is the collaboration between MMG and my record label Crescent Records, I am one of three founders of Crescent Records the other two co-founders are my brother Ayman Baker and my cousin Tamer Refaie who are also my managers and executive producers on the music video ‘Don’t Understand’ ft. Rick Ross and have been a big part of my success. We three put our skills together and we were able to create a hit song and get the attention of Rick Ross the CEO of MMG and we had him fly out to Chicago in exactly a week after hearing my song and record his verse on it.

Crescent Records is a label my brother Ayman Baker who also is my manager had the idea to put together so we can have a Chicago based record label for artists who don’t have the luxury or connections to have their music heard.

We have multiple artists signed to the label and they will be featured on my future music projects and are working on their own singles as well. Crescent Records will be a multi-artist platform that Chicago needs and we are here to stay and promote our city, we have a lot of talent here and unfortunately only a small amount of artist have made it big in Chicago in the past few decades.

I remember growing up and listening to Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, also chance the rapper is a great Chicago artist who I do listen to and he cares about Chicago the same way I do.

Sadly, with the state of affairs in the US, what unique challenges have you had to meet in gaining acceptance in entertainment, Hip Hop specifically?

My acceptance into the Hip Hop industry has been amazing, there have been people who don’t like the fact that I have risen to fame because of my religion as I am Muslim my mom was born in Chicago and she is Palestinian and my father was born in Jordan. My acceptance into the entertainment business was earned through the hard work and dedication between me and my co-founders/managers Ayman Baker & Tamer Refaie as we built our own doorway into the industry and we opened the door and walked right through it when everyone was telling us we were crazy and doubted us. We made our introduction heard everywhere and we will continue to create new doors as we move forward and show the industry and fans what I have to offer.

Tell us a bit about your work and passions OUTSIDE of music…

I own a detail shop in Oak Lawn with my co-founders/managers Ayman Baker and Tamer Refaie, we were able to support and create our record label, the detail shop we opened took every penny we had to start it up and with hard work we were able to take care of everyone close to us and then we were able to pursue the music industry, my passions are helping and giving back to my communities in Chicago through charitable donations and helping homeless eat.

My passion for helping others is the reason me and my co-founders started the record label so we can help up and coming artists who have a family to support or are juggling multiple jobs just to make it and don’t have the funds to fly out to be heard by labels who won’t give them the time or day to be noticed.

We have an amazing city with great musicians and that’s why myself, Ayman Baker and Tamer Refaie are working on being that voice the city needs to give people a fair chance and the opportunity to take their music to the next level.

Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” aka WTF?! moment…

Since I got home from jail August 3rd 2017, I’ve been on house arrest since then till now and my first song ‘Don’t Understand’ ft. Rick Ross was released on August 3rd, 2018 exactly one year from when I was released from prison. I also am a co-founder of Crescent Records and a detail shop all in that same year that is a small part of my story and my rise with Ayman Baker and Tamer Refaie, that itself has everyone saying WTF!

Arabb Luciano (Press Photo)

Arabb Luciano (Press Photo)

Follow on IG: @TheRealArabb @Aymanbaker87 @ArabMontana91

On the Web: https://www.crescentmusicgroup.com/


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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