Over the past four or so years, Lon Jon has steadily risen to be counted among the noteworthy next generation of Kenyan rappers. Some of the major milestones in his career have come in the form of collaborations with South African hip-hop heavyweights Tumi and HHP, not forgetting recognition by our very own hip hop pioneer Bamboo.
He is currently experiencing his best moment of 2015 through his January release of a laid back track entitled Grown & Sexy, a collaboration with the rarely-featured singer/radio host Amina. The release of the music video in July has extended the track’s shelf life even further. Just as with last year’s She’s So Beautiful, switching from his usual busier and in your face go-to sound to something more chilled works quite well for the rapper.
A little look under the hood of Grown & Sexy reveals what sounds like a slowed-down sample of Girl, the standout single off American hip-hop/soul collective The Internet’s 2015 Ego Death album. The track was produced by Kaytranda who has really been in the zone beat-wise this and last year.
Even more interesting is the speed of the apparent sampling, given that the first complete non-stream version of the track was out in early January, literally days or weeks before Grown & Sexy was released.
The specific elements sampled from Girl is also a sample in itself, borrowing from Canadian rock legend Neil Merryweather’s Step In The Right Direction, off his 1974 album entitled Space Rangers.
This is some really good sampling. It is subtle and inspired right down to the subject matter. If played back to back, Grown & Sexy and Girl give off more or less the same ‘grown and sexy’ vibes, save for the fact that Girl leans more towards same-sex appreciation.