Respect The Neighbors • Masego

 Photo by West Banks

Photo by West Banks

Age: 22 • Hometown: Newport News, Virginia • Follow: Twitter // Soundcloud

The genre-bending world of music we live in caters nicely to a generation of musicians that seek to reintroduce live instrumentation into their music. While drum machines and DJs will always have a home in hip-hop, it's not uncommon to see artists take their live show to new levels with the use of a full band and live instruments. For some, it's only an aid to their live performance, but for others, playing an instrument is a critical component to their musical expression.  

Essential Listens

Masego, a Jamaican-born and Virginia-raised 22-year-old, has taken the art of musicianship to new levels. From playing the saxophone to beat boxing, if it makes a noise, Masego sets out to manipulate those sounds into a blend of jazz and trap that has garnered the attention of millions. Masego has been playing instruments most of his life, crafting a unique sound influenced by both classic and contemporary music. He refers to his sound as futuristic, and even ahead of its time. In fact, his most recent release with Medasin, The Pink Polo EP, addresses that. Like the pink Polo Kanye used to sport, Masego views his music to be just as trendsetting. His sound may be foreign or even strange to some, but soon enough the world will catch up to the young creative's vision. 

With inspiration stemming from different genres and generations, Masego is nothing like (although still very similar) to others in the hip-hop world that have called Virginia home. Think Pharrell, Clipse, Timbaland, even D.R.A.M. Each have gone on to make gigantic contributions to the music world over the years, but at the moment of their introduction, pop culture wasn't so sure how to feel about them. Although one might argue that Masego is following this path (in a completely new way), the grassroots following he's created for himself thus far has caught our attention and is deserving of being a recognized and respected neighbor. Make sure to keep up with him via the links above as he's a consistent contributor to his booming SoundCloud account.