About Felipe Luciano
About Felipe Luciano
Hailing from Shelby, North Carolina and born Clifton Lamarre Gordon, the introspective and innovative hip hop artist now makes music under the name Felipe Luciano. At only six years old, Clifton’s grandmother taught him how to play the timeless, soulful piece, ‘Lean On Me’ on the piano, and his relationship with music began to blossom. He taught himself how to play the piano, and soon after, started to write his own music.
Clifton grew up in the inner city of Shelby before his mother moved them to Los Angeles on a whim in 2001. They found themselves homeless for two months before moving to a home in Watts, South LA. While in LA, Clifton was thrusted into a world of gang violence that he had never been exposed to living in the South. Like many adolescents with no solid sense of direction or hope for his future, Clifton became a “Bloods” gang member. He began rapping at age eleven, as a creative form of expression and escape from his everyday reality. Thus, a young Felipe Luciano was born.
In 2003, Luciano and his family moved again, this time to Denver, Colorado, where they were again homeless for a month before moving to a home in the Park Hill sub area of Denver. There, Luciano was exposed to more inner-city violence, which further fueled his fervor for rap.
In 2008, Luciano’s involvement in the gang eventually led him to be sentenced with five years in prison. While serving his time, the rapper honed in on his craft for making music and storytelling through lyricism, where he focused his lyrics on negating the often glorified gangster lifestyle. With an innate curiosity for human behavior, Luciano began taking psychology classes in prison, and ultimately received a scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill. Throughout the years, the rapper and self-taught pianist found guidance listening to rappers such as Jay-Z and Tupac, and studied the intricacies behind the storytelling aspect of lyrical structure and flow.
Today, Felipe Luciano makes music that he hopes will touch those that are growing up in a similar situation – navigating through pain and obstacles of gang violence while searching for a way out. Through lyrical ingenuity, the rapper transfers his audience to a different level of consciousness, taking them on a journey of establishing their own self-identity and self-worth, and understanding there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. But his work does not stop there.
At 25, Felipe Luciano suffered from two strokes and was told he only had five years to live. As his strokes were heavily caused by dietary issues shared by many in poverty-stricken parts of the country, his wife turned to vegan food as a solution. She added her own spin on things to create the flavorsome notion of vegan soul food. Today, at age 31, Luciano’s excitement for life and change is more prominent than ever. He and his wife have co-founded the non-profit organization, Helping Our People Excel (HOPE). With a special focus on inner-city youth who are susceptible to gang violence, the organization offers resources and programs that teach financial literacy, ownership, business development and more.
Felipe Luciano recently released his most important project yet entitled “Legends Never Die.” The album is a masterpiece that changes perceptions and defies expectations, as he tells stories that offer incredible insight into the tumultuous and painful life of a young gang member. His unmitigated brilliance, combined with his infectious sound, compels the listener to dig deeper into their own self-reflection and actions, uncovering a side to themselves they may not have been aware of before. The culture-shaker steps into rap and hip hop’s linguistic evolution: Felipe Luciano delivers social commentary through similes, metaphors and insightful storytelling, ultimately creating songs that authentically represent ‘self.’
Felipe Luciano is currently living in Miami, working on his next project, set to hit the airwaves in October. The new album will be lyric-heavy, leaving listeners wondering what more he could possibly be capable of shining light on.