‘Don’t let your words die in your notebook’: CSU social work advisor, Evan Lowe, to release rap album March 30

Miranda Moses

Evan Lowe, social work adviser by day and rapper “Low” by night, his first album is going to be released on March 30th called Conflict Theory. “I’ve been writing music since I was in the 6th grade, but this album is my first true to life project. But I’ve been performing close to three or four years now,” said Evan Lowe. (Mackenzie Boltz | Collegian)

In sixth grade, Evan Lowe wrote a poem. Over a decade later, he wrote an album. 

The Colorado State University alumni’s new album, “Conflict Theory,” is set to release March 30. Lowe, who doubles as a social work advisor at CSU, said the project has been a long time coming, and it all began with an assignment in English class.

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“I didn’t really have any introduction to poetry or anything before that,” Lowe said. “I really liked the content, and I really liked how you could express certain things about your community, about yourself, through words.” 

From there, Lowe found slam poetry and spoken word, and his interest in rapping followed years later. Although rap and hip-hop were around him before then, Lowe said he enjoyed listening to Motown and pop. It wasn’t until high school when Lowe began to immerse himself in rap music. 

“It was around the time Lupe Fiasco released his album ‘The Cool‘ is when I really kind of saw the power of hip-hop and rap,” said Lowe. “From there, I wanted to give it a shot, so I was like I’m going to start creating poetry but putting it more in rhythmic form and putting it into an actual cadence. (I) tried making music rather than just poetry…I fell in love with the challenge.”

Rapper Low’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be found at his handle @thatkinglow.

Lowe was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado. He said his work first centered around things he observed in his community.

“My home doesn’t have the best reputation; (there are) lots of gangs, guns, drugs, violence,” Lowe said. “So I really started writing about the things I saw and kind of juxtaposing that with broader issues surrounding Black culture and Black expression, and that’s where I first started.”

Lowe said his background in social work is permeated in every part of his life, including his rapping. Initially, in his days as a CSU undergrad, Lowe spent a lot of time not knowing what career to strive for.

“College was kind of an iffy thing for me to begin with,” Lowe said. “I was undeclared for a few years, and I really wanted to drop out, but my dad told me I would be wasting an opportunity not a lot of people who look like me or come from where I come from get.”

I think it took a long time for Evan to realize how talented he is. Anyone who has heard or read his words always encouraged him to pursue his love of music seriously. I think he finally believes in himself.” -Barb Lowe, Evan Lowe’s mother

When it was time to declare a major after his time undeclared ran out, Lowe wrote down a list of things he wanted to do, including helping people and going back to his community. His advisor told him to declare social work, and now after graduating with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, Lowe works in the same office of that advisor. 

“I just want people, particularly young kids, and if we were to go even further, young kids of color, to really pursue their potential,” Lowe said. “Do what you want to do in life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Don’t let anyone tell you it is not possible. Follow your potential.”

Lowe said his writing started with social issues and journeyed into self-expression where he was able to talk about his depression and anxiety. His rapper name, “Low,” is a humble reminder that when he was at his lowest, he turned to writing music, and this is where is art came from.

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“I think before when I was a kid writing, I was not really prepared to write about myself,” Lowe said. “As I grew older, I think I was able to start acknowledging these feelings I was having and relating it back to this craft that I love so much.”

Evan Lowe, social work adviser by day and rapper “Low” by night, his first album is going to be released on March 30th called Conflict Theory. “I’ve been writing music since I was in the 6th grade, but this album is my first true to life project. But I’ve been performing close to three or four years now,” said Evan Lowe. (Mackenzie Boltz | Collegian)

Social justice and mental health are both themes prevalent in the rapper’s upcoming project. “Conflict Theory” is based on the theory derived from sociologist Karl Marx that states the only way society works is if the dominant rule over the weak, according to Lowe. The album takes a look at society and the rapper himself and calculates what is dominant, such as his rapping abilities, and what is weak, such as his insecurity, Lowe said. 

“What I want the album to do is have that expressed to other people as well so that they can start acknowledging those things within their lives,” Lowe said. “And (I want to) create music that is relatable and honest, because I think that’s something that hip hop and rap have really lost.”

Lowe said that he has a hard time relating to modern rappers because they often talk about their cars and their money, so he wanted to make music that people could relate to, and make them feel something.

“I think Evans honesty makes his music important,” said Kelly Keeler, a member of the folk band The Sugarbirds, who collaborated with Lowe in his album. “There is a need for vulnerability and authenticity in music, and that was what spoke to me with this album. Ultimately, being vulnerable and authentic is what allows us to connect to others, and music is so very much about community and connection.”

Accessibility in both the message and the physical copy of the album are important to Lowe, so upon its release at the end of March, the album will be free. 

Lowe said something that drove him to embrace his potential was a quote his dad always used to say: “Don’t let your words die in your notebook.”

I don’t want these words I write, these feelings I have, these ideas and thoughts to just disappear with me. I want them to mean something to someone else because I know someone else’s words in my life have helped me be here today.” -Evan Lowe

“I don’t want these words I write, these feelings I have, these ideas and thoughts to just disappear with me,” Lowe said. “I want them to mean something to someone else because I know someone else’s words in my life have helped me be here today.”

Lowe said his mother, Barb Lowe, is supportive of his rapping pursuits and always begs him to be a rapper because she knows he can do it. 

“I think it took a long time for Evan to realize how talented he is,” Barb Lowe said. “Anyone who has heard or read his words always encouraged him to pursue his love of music seriously. I think he finally believes in himself.”

Collegian reporter Miranda Moses can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @mirandasrad.