Rapper 201jah is quickly rising through the ranks of the music industry. With only one album out and a growing number of streams, he’s built an impressive career in a relatively short time. Though he has been outspoken about his intent to distinguish his own unique lyrical and musical style, he feels compelled to acknowledge the influence of a few great artists that inspire him.
When asked about his influences, 50 Cent is always at the top of 201jah’s list. Though their musical styles differ in many ways, his influence can be felt on many tracks throughout 201jah’s discography. Jah points to 50’s lyricism as one of his greatest inspirations as a rapper. His confident portrayal of the luxurious party lifestyle associated with musical success feels like a natural evolution of 50’s boastful rhymes. Also on display is a penchant for the type of catchy choruses that 50 does so well.
Another prominent influence from the so-called “Bling Era” of early 2000s hip-hop is rapper Fabolous, who broke onto the scene with his debut album Ghetto Fabolous in 2001. Fabolous distinguished himself with his sense of harmony, musicality, and smooth lyrical flow. These two elements in particular are where 201jah draws influence. He believes that his smooth delivery and melodic progressions originated with the early influence of artists like Fabulous.
201jah’s most recent single, titled “Get the cake,” was released in July of 2021. A slight stylistic departure from much of his other work, the influence of a few of Jah’s more modern influences can be felt throughout the track.
One of these influences is Philadelphia-based artist PnB Rock. Rock has a particularly melodic style that 201jah has always been drawn to. He claims that his penchant for singing melodic choruses for his songs was inspired by PnB Rock, who confidently weaves vocal riffs into many of his tracks. In addition to the stylistic trappings, 201jah praises Rock’s approach to subject matter and feeling. “His music has always had this raw authenticity and emotion that I really admire,” Jah says. “Rock continues to prove that hip-hop can be a powerful form of expression.”
Another influence that can be felt on “Get the cake” is that of Chicago-born Lil Durk. 201jah finds inspiration in Durk’s confident vocal style, catchy melodies, and subtle pop influence. Lil Durk is also a prolific collaborator, building an impressive discography of features and singles with other prominent hip-hop artists. One look at 201jah’s discography will show how he feels about collaboration. Jah claims that he realized how effective collaboration could be after seeing how well it worked for Durk. “I think his collabs with Drake and Lil Baby were some of Durk’s best work, and I think collaboration always drives me to bring my A-game to the studio,” Jah explains.
201jah on His Visual Style
201jah considers music videos to be a crucial part of his creative approach. He thinks that pairing music with compelling visuals can make for a truly memorable and affecting experience. Particularly in his collaborations with director Llama, his videos display a remarkable singularity of style. The duo’s unique combination of visual motifs and techniques makes for an absorbing watch. The rapid-fire, feverish cutting style, careening cinematography, and pop animation effects present a delightfully disorienting and invigorating vision of a rising star living the high life.
Exceptional artists never emerge in a vacuum. Every artist or performer was inspired by someone, but using inspiration in a unique way is what separates the good from the great. 201jah is proving that the right combination of influences can lead an artist to greatness.
You can find 201jah on the following platforms:
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/201jah/1443933745
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