TJ DanSon Brings Back Old School Hip-Hop In Latest Release “Locus”
Photo Credit: Robin Helgesen
Written by ∆³
J. Cole (who is one of the top 10 emcees ever) has been canvassed as the ‘Tim Duncan’ of Hip-Hop. Tim Duncan was 5 time NBA Champion, who was known to simplistically do his job as an athlete, day in and day out with no flash, and J. Cole did the same in the genre of Rap. He sales records, tops the charts, and sells out arenas, by minimally emceeing feature free over Hip-Hop beats. When I heard TJ DanSon’s Hip-Hop Single release, “Locus”, I thought about Cole’s claim to Rap fame and how good Hip-Hop sounds when it’s kept simple.
TJ DanSon is and up and come that hails from Bergen, Norway, which houses some truly lit recording artists like Kygo, Lorraine, and the Apple featured, Datarock. In Norway, Rap has been well received since around the mid to early 90’s; this likely explains why a lot of Norwegian rappers tend to sound more “Old School” vs. “New School”. (Old School is typically a term used to classify Hip-Hop that sounds like it was crafted in or before the mid to late 90’s, and New School terms the Hip-Hop that’s being created between now and the last few years.) DanSon’s sound on “Locus” is indeed Old School, and this is likely a result of the way Norway has inspirationally filtered their own perspective of Hip-Hop music. This is TJ DanSon’s first featured release for mainstream media. On his Facebook page, he cites that he has been working on new music for a while now, and he professes that patience in music production goes a long way. TJ DanSon’s “Locus” can be streamed on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music.
“I created the melody about 4 years ago, on my parents piano, when I still lived at their place. I didn’t have a microphone or anything to record with so I had to record with my Iphone 4,” says DanSon. “The original plan was to replace it after I had recorded it in a studio, but something about the sound and feeling of my Iphone recording was irreplaceable, so I decided to leave it like that.”
A fiery hit that is musically minced over a pushy piano riff to get “Locus” started on a serious note. It’s not serious in the manner that the track feels angry, but it’s more so assertive, to where TJ expects the listeners of “Locus” to take him seriously as an emcee. “Locus” is the essential underground Hip-Hop artist at their finest, as DanSon’s lyricism on “Locus” is as poignant as the track’s insistent intensity. His first line, “I’m the king of the world,” sets a confident tone for a well written and deciphered journey into DanSon’s exceptional perceptions of what an emcee truly is. The standout stanzas to me are, “Back with a mass hypnosis…Keep the focus, / Been looking for power, looking for hours, / come in and see the locus.” These lines prove to be prime examples of the solid lyricism that definitively decorate “Locus” as a really good single release.
“I wrote the lyrics about two years ago. I am very patient with my music, because it is important to me that it sounds right. It is also important that I actually have something to say,” comments TJ DanSon. “I work extensively with the text for a long time to create an overall picture of what I am trying to illustrate for the listener. ‘Locus’ is me inviting the listeners into my mind, and kind of taking part in the journey that lies ahead. Welcome…”
TJ DanSon’s Hip-Hop Single release, “Locus” wins in a strong and centralized way. His energy and efforts on “Locus” could help stabilize both a new wave and cycle in Hip-Hop. I’ve always felt that despite its many levels, Pop culture trends to evolve in cycles. Creative attempts by artists like Cole, Kendrick, and in this case, DanSon, assure that the Hip-Hop dimensions of it, remain relevant in the manner by which it was organically introduced: raw.
Nice beats and a good emcee were how Hip-Hop started, so it makes sense that it would go back to that for even further cultural inspiration. The test for TJ and the other Norwegian Rappers out there, who respect the cultural essence of Hip-Hop, by way of their own expression, will reside on the wings of their art form’s creativity. Can the music they make successfully entertain the masses of Hip-Hop fans around the world? The term ‘locus’ is defined as an action, and DanSon seems to have the hardest part of an action down via his efforts on “Locus.” He’s crafted and released a solid Hip-Hop Single. Now, let’s see what he does with it.
Follow TJ DanSon