Lamon Manuel is an independent rap artist from the Southside of Chicago, and founding member of the prolific rap brotherhoods Tomorrow Kings and FUTURE CULT LEADERS of AMERICA (FCLA). Manuel is a writer’s writer whose art is a campaign for personhood, aiming to break the presumed rap binary: “positive, conscious rap” or “gangsta rap.” His sad-boy-adult-angst, smart-rap style is imaginative, humorous, richly poetic and is marked by gratuitous film and literary references. Contrary to the performance-artist paradigm of accepting the sacrifice of writing for song beats and/or performance, Lamon Manuel has perfected a recording and performance style that is just as captivating as his writing. His beat taste is perfectly congruent to his writing style and larger than life performance. Driven by the idea that any performance could be one’s last, Manuel melds rapping and an element of theater to performance to deliver an unforgettable experience for every crowd. Manuel recently described his work as “a series of choreographed panic attacks when played forward.” Padded beneath lush imagery, Manuel’s work presents as vulnerable. He invites an intimate look into topics typically cloaked in silence, such as Black mental health, the dissonance between non-Black fan enjoyment of Black art and real life engagement with Black people, substance and sexual abuse, body image issues, experiences in love from the Black male perspective, family dynamics, and male privilege.