Jus Guap is a 19 year old artist from Brooklyn, New York. He runs a Record Label called ‘The Kingdom’ that features 7 artists from the same age group. There is not one song that from Jus Guap that has a similar sound to the next. Guap states that his all end goal is to change the world using his music as one of his major weapons. Jus Guap has just dropped his creatively eclectic track, entitled “Roger That (2017 Remix)”. If there is an animating principle that runs through Jus Guap’s work, it’s a willingness to challenge expectations at every turn. Here he takes the Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne & Tyga track, and gives it a solid ass-whipping.
The Brooklyn rap ace has swapped out the traditional pillar of hip-hop’s sound for freaky synths that clone a brass ensemble. He has forced himself to jump through conceptual hoops, and completely eschew all of hip-hop’s clichés. And he has built a show-time styled rap song around the power of electronics.
All of this headiness makes a bit more sense when you consider that this is a nineteen year old creative with his own record label. Meaning youthful exuberance meets absolute creative freedom.
A match they could never even make in hip-hop heaven, even if such a place existed. The call of commercialism and the regular stereotypes desired by the marketplace are just too strong for an industry that has long lost itself after the nineties. Certainly, it’s difficult to question the quality of the raw materials used here.
Jus Guap skillfully evokes the hum of his electronic machinery with their bleeps, bloops, and shuddering waves of groovy static. And he does it without any condescending attitude towards the song’s original performing trio of the Minaj, Wayne & Tyga.
Though it does come as a surprise that Guap’s rapping is so technically impressive throughout “Roger That (2017 Remix)”, and even on the more conventional, but still eclectic “Sailboat”. The young rapper dexterously spits tongue-twisting lines with his steadily-paced delivery bringing to mind a host of his better known peers.
Jus Guap’s songs manage to succeed on his own terms, independent of any overarching narrative. He sets up the storyline and then goes in with turns of phrases and playful anachronisms. His songs have zero-gravity, as the gleaming synths and skittering drums float skyward with no conventional bassline to hold them down.
And on “Roger That (2017 Remix)”, Guap allows his tightly-wound delivery to go slack here, imbuing the track with a looseness and personality that’s sorely missing from much of hip-hop today, or at least since Andre3000 and Ludacris stopped releasing intelligible material. Again, it’s a lot better than what Minaj, Wayne & Tyga did on this track.
It’s only so often that a hip-hop artist or group comes along with something that could be described as truly unique. This is a testament to Brooklyn artist Jus Guap, who can legitimately boast his own original sound on “Roger That (2017 Remix)”.
Before fingers leave play buttons, ears are subjected to rapper Guap’s sure-footed spitting over rapidly moving musical notes that listeners of a certain age won’t even be able to register. It’s clear that the performances aren’t there to make us feel comfortable, although between the challenges we are let in on some moments of familiarity.
On the other hand Jus Guap’s style does not sound like futuristic, experimental rap music, from an artist that has stumbled upon a hip-hop time capsule that they’ve become obsessed with. Unlike a lot of today’s more alternative rap acts, Guap borrows from all sources, near and far.
His beats may be exquisitely ultra-modern in their conception, but his rapping style could come straight out of the glorious nineties. So while he aims to push boundaries, he does so in a way that demonstrates a love for the music and culture that forms its source material.
Jus Guap toys a bit with the hip-hop’s conventions, but he also hears the genre as one that’s big and inclusive enough for whatever newfound sounds he comes up with. And he is right. Hip-hop has always been a more fluid and advanced form of music than its detractors, or even some of its devotees, are willing to believe, and it damn sure has room for performers, creators and re-creators like Jus Guap.