Premiere: “This Time” by Just Rese

The Oakland emcee gets vulnerable and contemplative in this melodious, percussive rap.

Just Rese (Credit: Texas Isaiah)

Sometimes simple beats really are the bomb. That’s the case in Oakland rapper Just Rese‘s low-key, new single “This Time,” which features production fellow Oaklander Wax Roof, and puts the emcee’s quavering voice front-and-center.

Over a tinkling vibraphone melody punctuated with pseudo-sirens and Chicago singer Christian JaLon‘s delicate vocals, Just Rese spits about communication difficulties in relationships that can make one question whether it’s worth staying in or if they should just walk away.

Just Rese was specifically inspired by a girl he “began seeing and falling for…who was amazing, but had a completely different style of communicating,” he says. “It was a frustrating time, because it required me to learn and unlearn a lot in order to meet her where she was.”

It was especially hard for Just Rese, who is in his 20s and has been rapping since middle school, to expose himself emotionally to the girl and be so unguarded.

“My songs have always been the place where I could be vulnerable,” he reflects. “[But] it took a lot of time for me to be able to be that way with someone else.”

If Just Rese’s name or gravelly voice sounds familiar, you might recognize him from Oakland rapper Elujay’s 2016 track “EBMUD” or from the “Awkward Convos” podcast he did with Beejus last fall. He was also formerly known as Tyrese Johnson Music. 

Catch Just Rese with The Locksmith, Down 2 Earth, and J. Lately, on Thursday, April 27, at New Parish. More info here

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