Introducing Jeshi, the East London rapper creating reflective, cutting-edge hip-hop
Co-signed by slowthai and Vegyn, the UK rapper turns the richness of British culture in swerving, genre-moulding rap.
Header image by Cosmo Webber.
To people on the international hip-hop pulse, Jeshi is a face likely familiar already. He's worked alongside one-to-watch Celeste and Frank Ocean collaborator Vegyn, toured Europe with dynamite rapper slowthai, and work of his own has already been acclaimed as some of the most cutting-edge in British hip-hop at the moment; genre-moulding, DIY-textured hip-hop that captures the voice - and sounds - of hip-hop's exciting next generation, and the plethora of talent that exists within it.
It's something that's become apparent and experimented upon through work littering his last six years, with each release further delving into the tapestry of sounds that's become distinctive to Jeshi throughout his journey thus far. In 2016, it was shown through the five-track introductory EP Pussy Palace, and again in 2017's The Worlds Spinning Too Fast; a rich seven tracks of captivating hip-hop. Then brought 2020's BAD TASTE, an explosive breakthrough moment that positioned Jeshi as a real force to be reckoned with in the year ahead.
Now arrives a capsule of new music that heavily underlines Jeshi as a voice of British rap's ever-changing future, with three singles throughout the last few months - Sick, Hit By A Train and Generation - capturing Jeshi's charm and the energy that bridles amongst his work. The latest, Generation, is amongst some of the best British hip-hop of the year thus far, channelling the richness of the UK's youth and turning it into a twisting, multi-faceted affair that is rich with his acute storytelling.
"If Sick and Hit By A Train were me looking at the absurdity of my own life, Generation is me looking out the window and thinking about how much of a mental time it must be to be a kid these days," he says on the single. "The innocence has been taken away and replaced with depression and anxieties. This world makes us all grow up too quickly and I wish we could slow everything back down sometimes. Inspired by family, friends and my own experiences running around being a little shit."
It's something that's turned into veering and multi-dimensional hip-hop, blending together textures that span throughout his influences and carving them together to create what's quickly become the distinct Jeshi sound - something that's unmatchable, sounding unlike anything else out there at the moment. "We live in a time right now where people are so intent on boxing everything in... it’s all bullshit. My music, my story and my take on the world at the end of the day," he says. "I just want to make music that speaks into people’s lives."
Generation is the next taste of Jeshi's forthcoming project, teased as his greatest release yet, and a natural evolution from the craft that's defined his long-winding journey to this point. For Jeshi, however, it's been a long time coming. "[I realised I'd be able to do what I love for a living] when I was 11-years-old," he tells The Face. "It’s that blind confidence and naivety – what the fuck else would I be doing? I never really saw why I couldn’t spend my life doing music. If you’re willing to put in what it takes, I don’t think there’s anything you can’t do."
Dive into the single below: