Last year, when I interviewed Zeb Cobb (the Exeter-bred Imperial maths student behind the Roy Juxon alias) he told me that the late Mac Miller was his introduction to the new generation of introspective rappers who have come to define hip hop’s sound in the past decade. Roy’s song writing clearly takes a leaf from the personal, honest approach of such rappers. Walland Hill EP for instance, was a concise reflection on the stage of his life defined by a house move. As positive as the Mac Miller influence was in this regard, I did feel that the sound often unconsciously drifted into heavy influence from the rapper’s overall aesthetic.
With his new single, ‘GTYG’, Roy takes a much more purposeful approach. Distinct and polished, the track seems to take deliberate, curated inspiration from Mac Miller’s mid-career discography; an act of wearing the influence on its sleeve rather than falling into it as a default. Gliding, adlibbing synths pair a progressive clapping throughout the track. The mixing is immediately impressive, and the drum that comes in at the start of the track brings the production into immersive focus. Roy Juxon hits us with a fast, choppy, yet sticky flow. The track thematically focuses on the agitated back-and-forth that can often play out in a relationship, with the intentions of both yourself and your partner becoming blurred. The two verses seem to contrast one another while maintaining an air of carefree irrationality – the first capturing the entitled or selfish moments of a relationship and the second focusing on the moments of infatuation where the other person’s wishes become all that matters. The theme of discontentment in a relationship-turned-point-scoring-match is summarised nicely in the song’s catchy hook, which reveals the acronym in the track name: “I don’t feel like I’m tryna get to you girl, just show me love”. Roy layer the hook with wild, yoyo-ing vocal exclamations in the outro, which are playful if a little rough.
It’s clear that this new effort is one of Roy’s best, and it will be interesting to see whether his sound progresses further in this inspiration-honing direction or whether there’s further depth to be found in more unfamiliar sounds. The cover art for ‘GTYG’, though a seemingly stark contrast to the track’s sound, hints at the disaffection intentionally hidden in the track’s lyrics – perhaps there is scope for further exploration in that vain.
Stream Roy Juxon’s new single ‘GTYG’ now on Spotify: https://linktr.ee/royjuxon