JMØN may be only 19 years old, but he’s already making his mark on the West Coast scene
Vancouver, BC – As a new generation of artists makes their come-up, the birth of new sound is logically warranted and inevitable. But like all things in life, change is not always embraced with the same enthusiasm is sometimes deserves (and in rap it’s often highly dissected – even sometimes resisted). Artists like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert have changed the current constraints that are placed around the genre. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the changes that are happening in sound trends (although some fans and critics try to).
West Coast artist JMØN comes from a new generation of artist (and rap fans) who are redefining the genre on the West Coast. These kids are creating their own hype music, marketing themselves in creative ways, and throwing their own parties with their own soundtracks. If anything – we currently live in a time where you don’t have to have any label backing you in order to make a dent on the industry. And actually, independent artists are becoming more common, successful – and doing it younger.
With the West Coast scene being highly underrated and still not fully appreciated, speaking to the 19 year old rapper seemed to be the perfect opportunity to better understand what’s going on. Coming with undeniably hard-hitting tracks like “You Can’t Hang” and “Gwala” – he’s and artist that you won’t want to overlook. Catch our conversation, and some of his new music after the drop.
HipHopCanada: It’s pretty crazy that you just turned 19 years old. When did you start making music, and how did that happen?
JMØN: I started rapping when I was in grade 10. We used to go to Pinetree which was the rec centre in my area. We played ball on the weekend and my boy Raf started a thing called “Freestyle Fridays.” So after drop-in was over everyone would get in a circle and start rapping. It was alotta’ fun. People were telling me I was really good, so that’s when I wrote my first track. I started making beats a little later just fucking around on fruity loops.
HipHopCanada: How do you feel like your music speaks to the younger generation of rap fans?
JMØN: I think that the stuff artists say has been the same for years; it’s just the way that you say it that separates the older heads from the younger ones. My generation just wants to turn up more, so I put a lot of energy into the things I say in my tracks.
HipHopCanada: There’s a lot of polarization between styles of rap and generational gaps between hip hop fans. What kind of music do you think kids your age want to hear?
JMØN: I don’t necessarily think that it’s what my generation, as a whole, wants to hear – it’s more individuals and types of people. I know people that are 40 and listen to Lil’ Uzi Vert and Kodak Black, and I know people who are 20 who listen to Rakim and Nas. But generally, I think my generation wants to hear a lot of ‘skurrs’ and ‘yuhhs’ on a crazy beat cuz’ it’s more lit. (laughs)
HipHopCanada: You’ve got a very distinct sound and approach to your tracks. How would you define the style of rap music that you make?
JMØN: I like to add style to the substance, which is keeping the lyrics funny or powerful but still making it sound great and not dry. Out of the tracks you heard so far, there have been different sounds, but that is only a little sample of what I have. I have many more tracks recorded that are completely different then what I have put out. Who knows, I might put out an r&b album soon (wink wink fam). As for defining my music – I wouldn’t define it as anything. It’s however the listener wants to interpret it.
HipHopCanada: What kinds of things in your life have influenced your music or your choice to make music?
JMØN: School, the people around me, the culture, and memes.
HipHopCanada: You’ve collaborated with a lot of other great young artists who are coming up on the West Coast like Nala and 2hunnit. Tell us a bit about your experiences collaborating, and how that’s influenced your music.
JMØN: With them – it’s just a vibe. I met them at a party a while ago and we used to go to the same studio. Nala has a unique voice and 2hunnit has a crazy work ethic, so I know when I link with them – the track’s gonna’ be a banger. They are some of the most underrated artists in Vancouver, in my opinion.
HipHopCanada: “Gwala” and “You Can’t Hang” are two of your most recent singles. Can we expect an EP or project soon?
JMØN: Yuhh. It’s coming soon this summer – the WØW EP. I also have 2 more projects to release before the end of the year.
HipHopCanada: What’s something that people don’t know about you – personally or creatively?
JMØN: I need flaming hot Cheetos or skittles in the studio, that’s a must. I write my best songs in under 20 mins. That’s how I know it’s gonna be fire cuz I don’t have to second guess myself for those.
HipHopCanada: Who are some of your favourite artists that you’re listening to right now?
JMØN: Lil Uzi Vert, Ramriddlz, Young Thug, AC/DC and lesser known acts like Yung Pinch, Higher Brothers, bbno$, and Moise.
Listen to “Gwala” below.