Following a momentous 2022, Blxst’s latest project Just For Clarity 2 acts as both a sample of what is to come on his full-length debut, and a love letter to his native L.A., with features from Larry June, Terrace Martin, and Roddy Ricch. Stream Just For Clarity 2 here.
What song reminds you most of your childhood?
“Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest. My granddad used to sing this song to me specifically when I used to hang out at his house or when he’d take me to school. My uncle was really into East Coast hip-hop, and this song was my introduction to the art form when I was around four or five years old, listening to it in the car with my granddad while he was driving around L.A.
What was the first physical record you remember buying?
It was a CD at Best Buy – 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. This was years after I first even heard the album, but I was such a fan of the singles that when I scraped up some dollars, my dad took me to Best Buy and I bought it. I fell in love with it - it changed my whole perspective on music. It’s really wild because I didn’t know what I was listening to at the time. I was too young to really understand the lyrics, but I loved the rhythm and the cadence and the flows. It just felt like 50 Cent took things to a whole other level and was unorthodox with the way he created music, which inspired me. It made me feel like you can approach music in any way you want to, and it helped me wrap my mind around the production side of things. I fell in love with the details that sometimes get overlooked in music and this album helped me see that.
What song is the best representation of your hometown?
“To Live & Die in L.A.” by 2Pac. I love this song because being from South Central, there’s a lot of poverty where I grew up but 2Pac speaks on the good and the bad of growing up in these poorer neighborhoods. Being from where I grew up is a gift and a curse. Being a product of your environment can make you or break you, and the song speaks to that mentality really well.
What songs remind you of traveling to a specific place?
I don’t have a song that reminds me of traveling to a specific place, however, a song that reminds me of traveling in general is “Yebba’s Heartbreak” off Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album. That song reminds me of being at peace, because I’m afraid of flying so I have a playlist on my phone with calm songs with no drums. That song sticks out to me because it makes me feel like I’m at home and not in the sky.
What song do you wish you had written?
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams. It just makes me feel good, and the song just has a universal language. I think everyone wants a sense of happiness in their life and I aspire to write a song of that magnitude that connects with the world one day.
What’s the best song to play at a house party?
“This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. It’s a classic L.A. song. He’s speaking on a lot of famous spots in L.A., speaking on a lot of streets that I’m familiar with and it’s in House Party, which is a monumental childhood movie for me. It’s a song that as soon as you throw it on, everyone in the room gets up and wants to sing together.
You’re abducted by aliens, and when you wake up on the spaceship, they pass you the aux. What is the song you’re playing to convince them not to destroy Earth?
“One Love” by Bob Marley. It’s a song that speaks of unity and cherishing life. I think life is a rare thing and we have to be appreciative of it. After I play that song to these crazy aliens, we can all smoke some ganja and be at peace with the world, like Bob Marley was.