By Jack Barnes
A local sensation in North Carolina, Jalen Santoy‘s ear for melody, versatility, and incisive lyrical point-of-view won him a legion of new fans in 2016. Flanked by demonic hypemen, Jalen Santoy purposefully explores a post-apocalyptic hellscape in “Off The Glass.” Produced by Toronto’s Daniel Worthy, who has collaborated with Drake and Tory Lanez, “Off The Glass” is a shit-talking thumper, with droning horns and flanged bass underlining Santoy’s gruff boasts. Enjoy this video stream below after the jump.
Directed by A Plus Films (Schoolboy Q’s “Blank Face”), the clip is an evocative and artistic vision of a potential future, with Worthy’s groaning trumpet acting as a klaxon, warning of imminent danger. Premiered today by Pigeons & Planes, “Off The Glass” is a highlight from Charlie Eastern, Jalen’s latest EP, premiered by Mass Appeal, who praised the project, saying, “there is no single sound to label Charlie Eastern, other than personal.”
Jalen explains some of the imagery in the video: “The skeleton bones express that we’re stepping into new ground. Something that you haven’t seen before. The video isn’t storyboard driven it’s more about the aesthetic. The track is a little bit different from the video, so I wanted to give a different perspective. The bones represent the old soundscape of what people feel is trendy right now. I’m trying to get across that rap was intended to have a purpose, bringing your brain to the forefront.”
Boasting a flow as smooth as his singing voice, Jalen Santoy has a gift for making insightful, melodic Hip-Hop. In 2016, Jalen released the dramatic, relationship-focused “Foreplay,” a slow-building viral hit. Built around an infectious saxophone sample, cribbed from Bobby Hebb’s ’60s classic “Sunny,” and deepened by Jalen’s gift for storytelling, “Foreplay” racked up nearly 12 million plays on Spotify, earned a spot on Spotify’s Most Necessary playlist, and made Complex’s January 2017 Bout To Blow list of songs you will hear everywhere soon. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jalen started writing and rapping when he was 15-years-old, but did not release his first song until 2014, at the age of 21. It did not take long for “God” to gain some local traction, eventually catching the ear of North Carolina veteran and former Little Brother member Rapper Big Pooh who hopped on the remix. Following the success of “God,” Jalen appeared on Pooh’s Words Paint Pictures EP, lending a verse to “Kings.” Buoyed by “Foreplay” and North Carolina’s recent rap renaissance, Jalen Santoy is primed for a big year in 2017.
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