In the ultra-slick, diamond-encrusted world of contemporary hip-hop, it just isn’t enough to be a talented wordsmith with a smooth and resonant voice. You must have brand potential—be genuinely charming, impeccably dressed and attractive—just to get a Nike Air Max 1 in the door of the industry. A postal envelope covered in pictures of yourself also helps, which is how baby-faced heartthrob Mr. Xquisit (not his real name—you think?) got our attention. Ambitious and driven, his 15-track LP Hypnotix Muzik blasts a badass conglomeration of sharp beats and rhymes. Born in Jamaica and now living in Long Beach, Mr. Xquisit takes undoubted influence from his motherland’s legends such as Bob Marley and Buju Banton (not to mention a nod-and-wink love affair with the hydroponics), but he keeps his reggae roots behind the sonic frontline and focuses more on electronic-dipped hip-hop. The track “Swing My Dick” (referenced here for the simple reason that I may never get to write those three words in succession again) brings out his sweet Jamaican accent over a simple one-two bass thump mixed with spacey, flying-saucer-esque swooshes. “Magnificent” leans on a plucky hook straight from late-’90s gangsta rap that has evolved into a modern, quirky digital riff. Overall, Mr. Xquisit keeps the music simple, allowing minimal aural accessories behind his vocals, carefully restrained so as to not to overpower the fluid way he bends and shapes words not just into rhymes, but into an autobiographical epic.
For more information, go to www.myspace.com/mrxquisitmuzik.
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Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and decent high-resolution photos (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.