By Jack Barnes
Rising rapper Ajey won a legion of fans with his blunt honesty, his wry sense of humor, and his effortless relatability. Packing memorable punchlines and raw emotionalism into 15 succinct tracks, Ajey shares Met Her Off the Gram, his first album. Premiered by HipHopDX, Met Her Off The Gram draws from Ajey’s life experiences, most often taking different, hyper-specific angles into modern romance. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
On “Houston Love,” he mournfully recounts a long-distance relationship, and on the lead single “Selfish,” which earned over 633,000 plays on SoundCloud, he recounts a memorable text exchange with a significant other, where they take turns ignoring each other at the expense of the other’s feelings.Last week, Ajey shared “Fuck My Ex,” premiered by ELEVATOR, which built momentum for his debut project. With multiple tracks produced by Txmmy, Met Her Off The Gram is a wavy soundscape with gurgling synth, chiming keys, and subtly snapping percussion, allowing Ajey to fill the ample negative space with his smooth, rhythmic singing. Distributed by EMPIRE, Met Her Off The Gram is available to stream on the DSP of your choice.
“This album is for anyone who has felt misunderstood or felt taken for granted, or heartbroken, as if they don’t have a voice,” explains Ajey. “People have told me, ‘When I listen to your music, it’s like you’re telling me how I feel.’ I had to stop doing stuff for people and do what I like. I was in college in class in day thinking what am I going to do after graduating? I knew I always loved doing music but I doubted myself bc of the people I was around – they saw something in me that made them jealous and they would tell me, ‘Why would you do music when you can have a real job and a real career?’ I bypassed all the negativity and created ‘Selfish.’ People started gravitating towards it bc I can easily talk to people and connect with them.”
An ultra-talented everyman, Ajey won a large social following on Instagram and a devoted fanbase on SoundCloud because of his emotional honesty–fans see reflections of themselves in his songs and respond to his nakedly raw lyrics. Born in the Bronx, Ajey and his twin brother were raised by a foster family, who moved the boys to Brooklyn and provided a path for Ajey to go to college. Over the past year, the 22-year-old rapper has developed a devoted following on Instagram, where he has over 112,000 followers. With his relatable bars and his infectious hooks, Ajey is primed to take over the rap game from the ground up, building a career atop social engagement and grassroots enthusiasm.
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