Growing up in South Central, Los Angeles and the California’s Inland Empire, Blxst learned from his experiences and happenings in his neighborhoods, and chose to pour himself into music. When he was just a teen, Blxst taught himself how to produce, record and engineer after watching YouTube tutorial videos.
He created most of his musical work at home, which prepared him for his future. At 17, Blxst began going to studios to record. His admiration for Los Angeles production legends like DJ Quik, Dr. Dre and Battlecat led Blxst to try remaking their beats, which helped him develop his own style. That work he put in turned the corner in summer of 2014, when he produced Hitta J3’s “Do Yo Gutta (Remix),” which featured Kendrick Lamar, YG and Problem. That song took off locally and got Blxst’s name buzzing as a producer, and also helped shine a light on his rapping and singing abilities.
Over the next few years, Blxst produced some key L.A. songs, such as Kalan.frfr‘s “Right Wit It” in 2018, and he teamed up with fellow up-and-coming artist Bino Rideaux for Sixtape, their 2019 collab tape that showcased their rapping and singing talents. As a solo act, Blxst caught fire thanks to “Hurt,” a poignant 2019 track about his relationships, both friendly and romantic. Blxst’s vulnerability and intricate production style, best described as West Coast but still very much his own, has made him one of the more intriguing young acts to deserve recognition in LA.
His debut project, No Love Lost, released in September of 2020, is a walkthrough of Blxst’s reality. The eight-track EP centers on his evolution as a man while pursuing his musical dreams and dealing with the changes that brings—both good and bad. No Love Lost, which is heavy on the singing and melody, was widely celebrated upon its release, with over 75 million streams to date. Blxst has also been featured on over 60 global streaming playlists. Since March of 2020, he has also jumped from 155,000 monthly listeners on Spotify to over 2.4 million in January of 2021. He currently averages 1 million streams per day across all streaming platforms.
After his EP arrived, the rising rhymer followed up with the deluxe version in December of last year. The deluxe features Bino Rideaux on “Wrong or Right,” Dom Kennedy on “Got It All” and Ty Dolla Sign and Tyga on “Chosen.” The latter guitar-driven track is already his biggest one yet, being streamed nearly 7.5 million times on Spotify in a little over a month. “Aye, when it come to you (Shoo)/Pistol I bust, issue with trust/Won’t let no one get a piece of your love, yeah/Base it on loyalty, base it on us/I ain’t the picture-perfect type, but I’m making it up.”
When Blxst spoke to XXL on the phone for this week’s edition of The Break, he revealed that the music video for “Chosen” is being shot soon, and a Sixtape sequel with Bino along with his debut album, which will showcase more of his rapping side, are both on the way this year.
Get to know Blxst, his G.O.A.T. aspirations and why Ryan Leslie inspired his approach to music below.
Hometown: Los Angeles
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to really a lot of artists, but mainly Kanye West, Pharrell, Ryan Leslie. Mostly artists that produce as well. I heard it and I wanted to do it because as a kid, I didn’t think that that was even possible. So watching a Ryan [Leslie] video when he did that from scratch, it was like, Oh yeah, that’s the approach I want to have. I want to be hands on with everything.”
My style’s been compared to: “Mostly, I hear Ty Dolla $ign, Nate Dogg. I’m assuming it’s because people attract to my hooks a lot. So they say like, they say I’m going to be the hook guy, I guess. Hey, I’m all for it. I’m all for it.”
I’m going to blow up because: “I just felt like it was in my DNA to bet on myself, when to jump. It was no plan B. This is my plan A and my plan B. Anything that come my way, any hurdle, I just use as motivation and fuel to just equip myself for the long run. I feel like I’m built for this. I feel like I was made for this and I’m ready to push the envelope.”
My standout records to date have been: “I would say ‘Overrated’ for sure. And ‘Chosen,’ that’s one of the recent songs I put out with Ty [Dolla $ign] and Tyga. Well, ‘Overrated,’ that was the Donnell Jones [‘This Luv’] sample. I felt like people really connected to that one because it gives you a sense of reminiscing. I feel like people can connect to that song because they feel like they heard it already and it, and it’s just good lyrics. It’s a flip on the original concept. And then of course the song with Ty and Tyga, that’s two notable artists that’s from the city and it was just a connection of up-and-coming and already established [artists]. And people like when the connections happen.”
My standout moments to date have been: “I would say dropping this project, dropping my No Love Lost project. I feel like that opens so many doors that I didn’t even think was possible just off a EP. I would name one thing, but it’s really been everything that’s come from that project for sure.”
Most people don’t know: “I’m real quiet. I’m not the biggest talker. I’m really not anti-social, but I’m really only talking when I feel comfortable, but this is something I’m getting through, doing interviews and stuff like that. But a lot of people don’t know I’m to myself a lot.”
I’m going to be the next: “G.O.A.T.”
“No Love Lost”
“Chosen” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Tyga
No Love Lost (Deluxe)
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