Hi, I’m Richard Blacksher. I’m a musician.
I’m a firm believer in this musical truth: Hip-Hop belongs to the 19 year olds. OutKast, Ice Cube,
Mobb Deep, Carter era Weezy, the list goes on. But what sustains Hip-Hop is when it matures. It’s
The Blueprint that elevated Hip-Hop to the fashion houses. It’s 808’s & Heartbreak that allowed rappers
to sing over autotune. Like Naomi defeating Serena, the young rappers have the energy to keep the
work going, but it’s the older MCs that break down the barriers. Because when Hip-Hop grows up, as it
tends to do, rappers find it easier to express themselves off the mic. The appeal of superficial rhymes
turn to regrets, reflections, sometimes even remorse. Songs become conversations; therapy over
instrumentals. 4:44, DAMN , Because the Internet , are a few of my favorites. Something happens to a
rapper when they turn 30+. It becomes easier to observe the zeitgeist and “pop a wheelie” on it.
Tanjint’s latest album You’re Young for a Long Time, continues that tradition.
Tanjint’s album plays like the kind of Friday night kickback we find ourselves at this age with
nothing but a great playlist, wine, weed, and great conversation. Compared to the hatred I felt about
the house parties I went to in my 20s that were loud, crowded, and one joint for twelve people
(how did COVID not come in 2013?), You’re Young for a Long Time provides the kind of experience I
didn’t know how much I’ve missed through this pandemic.
Sonically: We are fortunate to be in a time where the IE has well-regarded artists in a multitude of
genres. From Cumbia, Rap, EDM, Jazz (yes I’m plugging myself), etc.--but damn does it feel good to
hear something that sounds underground. You’re … is not packaged as the most (dare I say) “polished” package of music, but that’s a huge part of why
I keep coming back to it. Whatever flaws that come across on the album seem only to be because of
how different it sounds compared to everything else that’s out. Charlamagne told a 36 y/o Kanye that
“Yeezus sounds like an incomplete album”. Hindsight.
Tanjint’s beat selection tastefully curates a journey through what feels like the days when Stones Throw’s only press were the classic mid-00s [adult swim] bumps. Remember when people didn’t know Nujabes, Fat Jon, Dilla, and Madlib? The music rings out like a playlist of the best unheard beats from that era while the blunt is being passed by the charcuterie board. And on a less confident MC, Tanjint’s accelerated flow would come with a “Don’t Try This At Home'' label; yet his approach on each track of You’re Young… is skillfully executed over variating cadences and tones. To be blunt (no pun intended), his approach is unparalleled to any contemporary rapper that I’ve encountered in recent years.
Thematically: Tanjint guides the listeners through what feels like a warm gathering of friends,
old and new. The intro “Welcome to the Late Show,” makes it apparent that this is a celebration of life!
For real, parties in your 20s often come with the unexplained expectations that you’re supposed to
leave with something: maybe a girl’s number, maybe some new friends, maybe just a hangover.
But, as someone who still hates parties, it’s different in our 30s: you leave with an unopened bottle of
wine, new insight about the article someone read on Linkedin, or sometimes just peace. And it’s that
aspect of hanging out with the same folks that you used to live recklessly with but now have gotten
more mature, more reflective, that Tanjint captures so eloquently in this album.
I have too many favorites to name. “Goji Brothers” reminds me of my own changing
relationships with my siblings as we’re living separate lives as separate families.
“To Come of Age” reminds me of the trauma I’m still processing of my father’s death ten
years ago. “May 5th” reminds me of my personal struggles grasping to my Latinx identity that
still never felt like mine. The title track, “You’re Young for a Long Time” voices how I feel on a
daily basis of dealing with all of life’s lemons; “I’ve kept it tight, I’m tired, I wanna unwind”.
But even based on the few tracks that I’ve listed, it’s obvious that this isn’t an album for everybody.
It’s introspective that requires a commitment to want to engage in not only the answers that Tanjint is
asking the listener but also for the listener to want to ask those very same questions of themselves.
With the advent of social media, youth is no longer wasted on the young. There is a fear within
millennials that we’re growing old and no longer valued the same way we did not value the generations
before us. We’re desperate to cling on to the trends, to be in the know, to face our inevitable 40s. But
the freedom Tanjint expresses here makes it apparent that growing up is a blessing, and youth is
found in your state of mind, not in TikTok influenced art. With that understanding, we all can be young...
for a long time.
Richard “RnB” Blacksher is a writer, musician, composer, performer,
MC and educator in San Bernardino, California. You can find his music on streaming platforms
under “Richard Blacksher”.