Twin brothers Jarrell and Jerome Lucas, 28, have been finding other ways to keep busy in Chicago this summer. Instead of traveling or just enjoying the nice weather, “The Lucas Brothers” have been putting together a documentary on the city’s “bucket boys.”
With the project 80% done, they are now asking the public to help them complete it by going to their Kickstarter campaign and donating the other 20 percent that is needed. Their goal is to raise $25,000 by Aug. 19 and as of Friday, they have about $4,400. Most Southsiders recognize the name “bucket boy,” but for those who don’t, they are the young men sitting on the corners and in the streets rhythmically tapping their drum sticks on 5-gallon buckets. Their captivating beats are easily heard before the music makers can even be spotted. These performers are usually found on the Southside with shirts off, buckets between legs and sweat dripping down their faces in the summer. They started popping up in the early 1990s and their age ranges. The Lucas Brothers interviewed someone as young as 14-years-old.
“I feel like every city has a story that needs to be told and their story is untold,” Jarrell Lucas said. “The world needs to know their struggle and to know our city is full of more than just violence, but we have a creative side.”
Growing up in the Roseland community, the brothers said they pass up the bucket boys everyday. The videographers never sat in a class to learn their craft, it simply came natural they said. Jarrell bought his first camera in 2012 and someone from the neighborhood needed his help shooting a music video for a local artist. He said he was hungry to learn so he said yes and started watching YouTube videos.
The filming for the documentary first began last summer and now they are more than half way done. They did more than just shoot the video, but they spent time with the percussionists, getting to know them and their families. Starting out, both brothers said they had their ideas about these young men, but it was a learning experience for them as they became more involved.
They realized that many of the bucket boys were homeless and returned to a shelter when they were done. They discovered that others were raised in a single-parent home, had no father figure, and this was their way to contribute financially.
“They are introduced to manhood at an early age so they go out with a bucket and they work as if they’re grown,” Jerome said.
“Some of them make a lot of money, on a good day, one made $800,” Jarrell said.
Both said they didn’t know the drummers made that much.
They said that no one has to really “teach” the potential, aspiring bucket boys because it’s just part of their culture, environment.
“It’s like how a Black kid learned how to play basketball by just being around, same thing with the bucket, it just comes natural,” Jarrell said.
Their documentary will only be funded if they are able to raise at least $25,000 by Aug. 19.
A percentage of the proceeds will go toward showing the documentary to the Boys & Girls club of Chicago.
Watch the a snippet of the video HERE.