Published Sep 03, 2013After a handful of offerings in 2012, Vancouver rapper Young Braised (a.k.a. Jaymes Bowman) is continuing to develop as an artist. His latest release, Japanese Tendencies, arrives via 1080p today (September 3) and can be streamed here on Exclaim.ca.
In many ways, the 7-song EP offers many of Braised's usual signifiers, from goofy '90s pop culture references (when he's not singing about a poonanny tsunami on operner "Murakami," he's quoting Blink-182 outright) and so-dumb-they're-great shout-outs to big chains like Payless Shoes, making the release as hilarious as it is thoughtful.
Ultimately, that's the best way to describe Bowman himself. Speaking with Exclaim!, he explains that he's been rapping for "10 years recreationally, one and a half pro-am," and seemingly admits he's toeing a fine line on the new release. "My ultimate goal for this project is to give more people the opportunity to witness my growth as an artist and hopefully stimulate conversation around the understanding of foreign cultures, rather than capitalizing and indulging in the over-fetishization of them."
Unlike previous releases, which saw Braised working with myriad different producers, this one was produced entirely by Japanese artist Terio. "I think he named himself after a Daihatsu SUV," he says. "Anyways, he has produced for the Based God and many other progressive urban musicians. This is the first time I've worked strictly with one producer who I have never met."
Not just a title, the rapper admits that he's been experiencing some real-life Japanese tendencies of his own. "Over the past few months, I've found myself ritualizing time spent alone, and spending more time alone. This is the most noticeable tendency that correlates with my very modest study of Japanese culture, though I'm sure there are plenty of Japanese people that get bored and would rather go out, too."
Expanding his reach overseas is only natural, as the rapper explains that while he loves working and living in Vancouver, the city doesn't play much into his own music.
"There is no iconic sound or style, at least in urban music, that was born from this area, which is kind of cool, but also doesn't really matter either way anymore. Like, I'm forced to draw inspiration nomadically, which is actually positive as that's what most people who live in 2013 and own computers that are connected to the internet are doing anyways, regardless of their medium or location. There are lots of good electronic music producers here right now too, though, which is very encouraging."
Japanese Tendencies is available as both a digital download and on a limited cassette tape over here via 1080p. While you stream the release here, Young Braised has some thoughtful listening tips for the release:
"I would suggest being alone or with one to two other people at the maximum. The beats are very wonderful on this tape, but I definitely wrote it for people to analyze and deconstruct at a poetic level. Being in motion makes some of the tracks sound different too so feel free to give it a listen in a bus, car, or SkyTrain, but don't let it distract you from the road if you're on a bike. There are many things that can go wrong in an instant on a bike, and it's important that you protect yourself (there are no walls like on a car). I don't wear a helmet when I ride, but I would recommend getting one if you're doing a lot of riding. Eating something good for you or just something that makes you feel good usually goes well with audio too, and this tape is no exception."