Lulseged “Lu” Afework is a first-generation American of Ethiopian descent, born in Maryland before moving to Minnesota at the age of three. Lu first picked a notebook up after watching 8 Mile, soon succumbing to the frustrations of being eight with no bars. He picked it back up during his junior year at Simley High School, where he was always the first name on attendance that every teacher would apologize before mispronouncing. This common misstep in cultural competency, paired with the inspiration from watching a friend rap on Facebook, led to Lu’s christening as Student 1: a reflection of a lifetime dedication to learning oneself, the world, and the game.
Student 1 embodies an upbeat approach to interrogating the questions of life, fusing oddball braggadocio with meticulous technicality for an engrossing experience that’s equally whip-ready and stare-at-the-ceiling ready. Caught in a haze of tobacco and uncertainty, Student 1 serves as a beacon of light for anyone reveling in their uncertainty, searching for the motivation to persevere through a world that feels set to destroy them.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.