Lucas Charlie Rose Releases his First All-French Album

Montreal Trans Hip Hop Artist Produces an Arrangement of French Trap

  • Rose dropped his album “Plus Près Du Soleil” to distance himself from a year of ill mental health. Photo Daren Zomerman

Montreal’s trans-activist, hip-hop artist, and entrepreneur Lucas Charlie Rose heats the stage with French trap for his album which launched on Jan. 11.

This article has been updated.

Maneuvering behind La Vitrola’s dark venue into the small dim-lit green room, Montreal recording artist Rose vibes backstage with his crew of performers before executing his first all-French home-studio album Plus Près Du Soleil.

Behind the scenes, Rose works with his team of Trans Trenderz and volunteers from the LGBTQA+ community by setting up equipment, pulling out props, and carefully pinning up merchandise to uphold his show. Later, performances from recording artists Ms. Holmes, Dieuvela Rare, Backxwash and Rose himself will lure the crowd to the dance floor.

Rose dropped his album Plus Près Du Soleil to distance himself from a year of ill mental health. On stage, he removes his suede jacket to uncover his emotional scars and tattoos bared.

“For me, when I look back at that dark space, I think of winter,” Rose admits about this passing year. Rose finds that his mental health has been suffering as he nears fame. Also, the pressure of being a Black trans artist, activist, and entrepreneur takes a mental toll.

“Even the hype songs are all about coming out of that winter and heading towards the sun. […] For me, the sun means freedom.”

From the lyrics, the beats, the producing, the mixing, and the mastering, Rose did it all alone. Rose remarks, “If you put Drake in my position with a $0 budget, he could never be able to put out an album as fast as I can because I did everything on it.”

“Drake did not start from the bottom,” he said.

With his all-French album, Rose goes back to his roots in France. He reminisces on favourite artists during his childhood, and recalls French rap albums from the early 2000s; Diam’s Dans ma bulle and Disiz la Peste’s Les histoires extra-ordinaires d’un jeune de banlieue.

Rose said, “those were two albums that made me want to rap at the beginning and that I listen to a lot. [Diam’s] has a whole song about how she tried to commit suicide when she was 15 years old.”

He tries to incorporate that same vulnerability into his music. While Plus Près Du Soleil presents itself as an overall energetic ensemble of trap, Rose inserts elements that are more low-fi and introspective.

“[Bryson Tiller’s] album Trapsoul was a game changer for a lot of artists. For me, it’s a genre that I was working on before,” Rose explained about this album clashing different musical styles into a final piece.

Rose describes Plus Près Du Soleil as “50 shades of trap. It’s all trap but, it’s all different types of trap. [The track] ‘Recommencer’ for example, has trap elements in it but it is low-fi trap. And then, you have ‘Maison De Papier,’ that’s Afro-trap. […] Then you have songs that are trapsoul,” Rose explained.

He created an experimental culmination of trap in Plus Près Du Soleil and shifts between different styles of this hip hop subgenre.

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Shawn Setaro writes in his article for Complex that the subgenre took life from the 808 Roland drum machine. Once southern hip hop artists from the United States reached out to the mechanism, they charged the music industry with their new sound.

“What makes trap is that deep 808 [drum] with that sprinkling high-hat,” Rose said gratuitously. The slow sub-base of the drum couples with the rapid triplet of the high-hats. The result creates a brooding and haunted synthetic rhythm.

Today, artists like Travis Scott, Migos, A$AP Rocky, and Tyler the Creator have been developing and innovating their sounds of trap. Also, pop artists like Taylor Swift or K-pop sensations like BigBang use trap in their songs.

Though the ominous beat of the U.S. South gains more recognition across the globe, Rose believes it is essential to acknowledge trap’s origins. “Usually new sounds take a minute to digest but, we need that. We need those moments to happen.”

Despite nearing fame and working hard while maintaining mental stability, Rose chooses to stay true to himself and to remain humble through the process.

Rose’s new album is now available on Spotify. Also, you can support trans artists by checking out the Trans Trenderz websit and Facebook page.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that recording artists Ms. Holmes and Dieuvela Rare are signed to Trans Trenderz. In fact, they are not. The Link regrets the error.

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