Black Music Month Spotlight: Steve Lacy

Adreon Patterson
2 min readJun 27, 2023

Music prodigy Steve Lacy has defined his musicianship and output on his terms. He was born and raised in Compton, California to a Black mother and a Filipino father. As one of three children, Lacy lived a sheltered existence after losing his father at an early age. He found an affinity for music by learning to play the guitar after falling in love with the video game Guitar Hero. The musician spent countless hours practicing and perfecting his craft, always striving to push the boundaries of what was possible. Lacy met his friend and future The Internet member Jameel Bruner while playing in his high school jazz band. While in high school, they formed the R&B band where he provided vocals and played guitar.

Lacy was an instrumental part of The Internet’s success, playing on all the group’s albums. His time to shine came on the group’s third album Ego Death, in which he produced and wrote multiple songs. The album ended up scoring a Grammy nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album while he was still in high school. His production and songwriting duties with The Internet led him to work with notable artists like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. The music prodigy even produced and appeared on fellow Internet members Syd and Matt Martians’ debut solo albums.

Lacy began recording songs and releasing them online, building a following at a time. He went on to write and produce his first EP Steve Lacy’s Demo during The Internet’s hiatus. The R&B collective reunited to release their fourth album Hive Mind. As the group entered another hiatus, the music artist returned to producing for artists like Solange, Dev Hynes, and Mac Miller.

Over the years, Lacy’s star continued to rise as he worked as a producer, session musician, and songwriter. He made his official debut as a solo artist with his debut album Apollo XXI, which earned him his first solo Grammy nomination. His unique sound and innovative approach to music earned him critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase.

However, his big moment as a solo artist happened with the release of his sophomore album Gemini Rights in 2022. The album was a critical and commercial success with the single “Bad Habits” going viral and topping the Billboard Hot 100. The release’s success earned him four Grammy nominations, winning for Best Progressive R&B Album.

Steve Lacy continues to grow as a performer and musician poised for bigger things in the future. Today, he is considered one of the most exciting and innovative musicians of his generation who continues to strive to craft authentic and visionary music. Although he’s just getting started, I will say, “Steve Lacy, we appreciate you for pushing yourself to be a better artist and performer and, in turn, inspiring others.”

So it’s beautiful to get acknowledged for all of it and realize that, damn, I didn’t have to change what I wanted to do. I didn’t have to dim my light.

Steve Lacy

Originally published at http://adreonpatterson.net on June 27, 2023.

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Adreon Patterson

A multi-faceted creator trying to change the world one word at a time. Check out more at https://adreonpatterson.net