Bay Area singer/rapper Jaxon (LJ) Bey is an interesting blend of urban life and the suburban life, as a result of his parents splitting up at an early age. This juxtaposition of worlds found it’s way into his musical influence, which can only be described as different. He’s edgy and safe simultaneously, creating a unique listening experience when his work is presented as a collection; think of it as a bowl of [contrasting] ingredients that create an amazing dish. LJ describes himself [musically] as a mix of Sanskrit, bubblegum trap, rnb, and spirituality — dope right? His latest mixtape, Rise To Crown, is a trip, to say the least.
The songs [on the tape] are eclectic — at once experimental, confirmatory, perfect for the club, and the soundtrack for a sex session. LJ drops Future-like flows on some tracks, and at the drop of a dime, switches lanes and sings with a cadence that [almost] resembles Frank Ocean mashed with Tory Lanez as he croons over slow piano ballads. Then, out of nowhere, he’s a dropping a sing-song club banger. His versatility keeps the project interesting, and fresh, track after track. The contrast from the slow, almost tribal intro “Sleeping Beauty,” to the bassy “I’m The New MJ” was so jarring we thought Tidal accidentally played the wrong joint. Once we were acclimatized, we got into it. Lyrically, his songwriting is crazy — from the radio-ready joints like “Street Sweepa” and the ‘deal with it’ vibe of “Watch Me”, to the clever ‘save the relationship’ allusion of CPR.
The highlights for us were the soulful “Turn On The Lights On,” and the title track, which closes out the project, where he loudly proclaims, “I’m living life no limits.”
He’s going all out, and Rise To Crown is the perfect way for him to metaphorically and figuratively throw his hat into the ring. Get familiar with LJ; he may be a name that starts to ring bells in the [very] near future.