Image courtesy of The Fader [1]

Brooklyn-based rapper SAINt JHN—former alias, Carlos St. John—has been working as a collaborator under the shadow of stars and big labels for a couple years now. Notably, he was a behind-the-scenes producer for Usher’s Hard II Love album. However, his recent work—namely singles Roses, Reflex, and 1999 which were dropped consecutively throughout the later half of 2016—have become a hit on multiple music streaming sites and apps.  

SAINt JHN’s signature sound favours a lulling melodic rhythm and a down-tempo beat. His rap is far from aggressive or fast; the cadence of his rhymes definitive and more crooned than rapped. It works in his favour too, as his untraditional means of rap creates a more focused and memorable sound. In Reflex and Roses, the serenading quality of his relatively high register voice is incorporated in both the songs’ hooks and bridges. The result is something hypnotic and absorbing, especially when coupled with the clever synth layering, solid beats, and a good pair of earphones on your part.

His unique combination of sound is the type of stuff that constitutes as the gateway drug for the newbies of the genre – the ones who are only just dipping their toe in the world of rap and R&B so to speak. Even rap haters will have his distinct hooks stuck in their head.

So, whether you’re already well-versed in rap music and are looking for a new and up-and-coming artist to keep tabs on, or you’re just open to experimenting with this new genre, give SAINt JHN a listen. He may not be releasing an album anytime soon, but he’s sure to be dropping more singles and collaborating with other artists throughout this year.


Citations: 

[1] http://www.indiewire.com/2016/10/barry-jenkins-moonlight-interview-1201737807/