Joyner Lucas ADHD Album Review

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Blog post updated on 17th March 2022

Introduction

Joyner Lucas is an American Rapper. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and his debut album entitled ‘ADHD’ was released on 27th March 2020. It was no. 10 in the US Billboard 200 album charts and no. 16 in the U.K. album charts.

 

Here is a track-by-track review of each song on the album and how they refer to ADHD where appropriate:

 

1. Screening Evaluation (Skit)

A Rorschach ink blot test that looks like two gnomes giving each other a high five.

Image by Jonathan Harford, flickr.com

This track consists of spoken dialogue between a doctor and a child actor playing Lucas aged 8 over suspenseful backing music. The doctor is giving Lucas a series of Rorschach ink blot tests to see how smart he is. At first, Lucas correctly guesses the tests that represent more innocent things such as a butterfly, but towards the end Lucas perceives the tests as more intense things such as a loaded gun, much to the doctor’s annoyance. The doctor then asks Lucas if he is stupid. Lucas’s perception of the last picture can suggest he has ADHD.

2. I Lied (Intro)

A man in a bright green jacket is holding some wads of banknotes. Several more banknotes appear in the background.

Image by cottonbro, Pexels.com

The part of this song that most describes a trait of ADHD is Lucas telling his uncle to give him a loan and promising to pay him back in full, but he never did. This shows that adults who have ADHD can struggle to pay bills and pay back loans. His mentions of pills refer to people with ADHD who take medication to manage their symptoms.

3. ISIS (feat. Logic)

A person's hand is pointing to a bar chart on a printed sheet of paper with a pen.

Image by Lukas, Pexels.com

This song begins with a woman’s voice explaining what ADHD is. Later on in the song there is an interlude where the woman gives statistics of people living with ADHD. In the second verse by Logic, he mentions Ritalin, a type of medication most commonly taken by people who have ADHD.

4. The War (feat. Young Thug)

Some casino chips, red dice and playing cards stand and lie on a black surface.

Image by Pixabay, Pexels.com

This is another song that mentions financial issues that adults with ADHD have such as spending cheques on a car and a casino session.

5. Chris (Skit)

Chris Tucker is wearing a smart black and white suit with a bow tie. He is smiling.

Image by Gage Skidmore, flickr.com

This track is of a telephone monologue spoken by the actor Chris Tucker. He tells Lucas that he is taking too long to record his album and explains that his mother had ADHD but doesn’t use it as an excuse to be lazy. People who have ADHD can spend a long time working on things due to them becoming distracted. Tucker mentions that his great-great-grandmother and grandfather also have ADHD, which shows it can be hereditary. Tucker also says that he shot ten films in the same time it took for Lucas to record his album. He is even intolerant of Lucas’s YouTube videos of himself throwing pity parties due to his ADHD.

6. I Love

A shop called Greg's Pawn Shop stands in a street.

Image by William Avery Hudson, flickr.com

Besides financial issues with the lyrics, “Pawn shops every week (Week),” Lucas’s threat to kill everyone and hiding his weapons in his Levi’s coat show that people with ADHD can have violent and disturbing thoughts.

7. Devil’s Work

A man and a woman are lying on a bed. They are looking at the ceiling.

Image by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels.com

Staring at the ceiling whilst lying in bed can be a symptom of ADHD as can forgetting a few names of celebrities from the extensive list of them mentioned in this song and paying attention costing too much.

8. Lotto

A young boy with short curly hair has his eyes closed, is screaming and has his hands on his head. He is throwing a tantrum.

Image by Keira Burton, Pexels.com

The line about taking kids on drugs could probably refer to children with ADHD taking medication. Children throwing tantrums is another sign of ADHD.

9. Kevin (Skit)

Kevin Hart is performing a stand-up comedy act on stage.

Image by Western Connecticut State University Peggy Stewart, flickr.com

 

This is another monologue that is spoken over the phone, but this time by the actor Kevin Hart. Hart tells Lucas that he is not impressed with his song ‘Lotto’ because Lucas still owes Hart money from a year ago.

10. Gold Mine

Some gold mine equipment

Image by Neal Wellons, flickr.com

According to a comment made by a user on Genius Lyrics, this song is about how Lucas quit his job at McDonald’s, became a famous rapper and was “being rich.” This song can make listeners think of other people with ADHD who have become famous. Lucas saying he doesn’t want to be touched when he is “in [his] zone” and wanting to be alone when he is at home are signs of ADHD.

11. Finally (feat. Chris Brown)

A man in a green T-shirt, black shorts, white socks and white trainers is running past some trees.

Image by Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels.com

Lucas having “a hundred million things all on [his] mind” and “running in and out of [his] life” could be symptoms of his ADHD.

12. 10 Bands

A bearded older man in a blue shirt and a red tie has his hands on his head. He looks stressed as he works on his laptop.

Image by Nicola Barts, Pexels.com

Lucas mentions that stressing made him bi-polar. Bi-polar affective disorder is another mental disorder that can run alongside ADHD.

13. Revenge

Some wooden Scrabble tiles spell out, "Do not seek revenge."

Image by Brett Jordan, Pexels.com

Being depressed and “mentally torn in half,” not wanting to chill, having a mental block and being problematic could all be signs of ADHD.

14. Comprehensive Evaluation (Skit)

A backpack and several pieces of school equipment, a laptop, some headphones and a computer keyboard lie on a white surface.

Image by Kindel Media, Pexels.com

This follows on from the opening skit of the album. Young Lucas attends another appointment with his doctor. The doctor explains to Lucas that his mother said he didn’t want to attend this appointment because of what had happened at the previous one. He apologises for lashing out at him but promises he won’t do it again if Lucas doesn’t act like a stupid person. The doctor tells Lucas that his mother said he doesn’t really like his prescription and asks him about drugs that are not available at the pharmacy. Lucas is unaware of these drugs. The doctor then asks Lucas to give him his backpack so that he can put some things inside it and take away Lucas’s ADHD for good. Lucas is unsure about this and the doctor warns Lucas that if he tells his mother about this, he won’t get any more treatment. ADHD cannot go away or be taken away from someone as people who have ADHD have it for life.

15. ADHD

Some Scrabble tiles spell out, "ADHD," on a tile holder. Some more Scrabble tiles and a Scrabble board can be seen in the background.

Image by Jesper Sehested Pluslexia.com, flickr.com

This is the titular track of the album. Lucas describes having ADHD as “dyin’ on the inside” (sic) and “tryna get by” (sic). He says he doesn’t need any medication or drugs. He mentions other traits of the condition throughout the song such as his mind racing, overthinking, being born differently, being an hour late for his class, being disturbed, staring at the fire, having too many things in his head, being unable to sleep and hearing voices in his head that aren’t really there.

16. Still Can’t Love (feat. Fabolous and King OSF)

A woman is touching a man's tattooed arm.

Image by nicole, Pexels.com

The woman who Lucas sings about could also have ADHD due to her studying all the tattoos on his body as a way of hyper-focusing. He also says he feels like a Zombie and the woman will do anything for attention.

17. Will

Will Smith is standing in front of a blue and yellow wall.

Image by Walmart, flickr.com

This song makes a lot of references to the actor Will Smith. Lucas compares himself to Smith, but he only mentions ADHD once in this song.

18. Broke and Stupid

Two rappers perform in front of a brick wall with a black and white zig zag pattern on it. The rapper on the right is holding some banknotes in one hand.

Image by Katie Brittle, Pexels.com

According to another user of Genius Lyrics, this song is about the setbacks Lucas experienced when he was younger, but he grew up to have a successful rap career. This song has a similar meaning to ‘Gold Mine.’

 

Final Verdict

 

Although the songs on this album have explicit lyrics and references to popular culture like other rap songs typically do, the most unique things about these songs are references to ADHD whether they are about Lucas’s experiences of living with it or about ADHD in general.

Blog Author

April Slocombe


Neurodivergent
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