In an interview with Cvlt Nation, Memphis rapper Lukah traces the origins of his art back to a very personal place. “My grandad…founded this organization/tribe to help heal and educate brothers and sisters. It provides a safe place for African Americans to take an inward journey. What that meant for me was taking a good look at my past self and dealing with it, whether it be trauma, abandonment, racism, depression… After taking a good look at the cause of those things, the process of finding knowledge of self begins.” That philosophy forms the backbone of the gripping When the Black Hand Touches You, a tour de force rap record where grim depictions of violence remain tightly linked to the unrelenting social forces that brought the song’s protagonist to that place. It’s a powerful piece of work: On “Virus,” a highlight, Lukah lays plain the chain of events that led to the biased “war on drugs,” laying bar over incisive bar over a woozy R&B sample; the baleful “Black Coffins” warps a choral sample to eerie effect, the perfect backdrop for Lukah’s haunting meditation on mortality. His rhyme style is perfectly suited to his material: Lukah has a relentless, emphatic flow, and he gives every syllable equal weight, making each line feel urgent and determined. Black Hand is an immersive listen—you can feel it enveloping you as it goes on—and Lukah handles every second of it with a mix of clarity and control that is stunning.