Odds are the picture above caught your attention, no? Let me take a second to introduce you to the beautiful Jennifer Lee, aka TOKiMONSTA. If you’re into the LA beat scene, or just hip hop in general, then the name must ring a few bells. It’s rare to find a female pushing beats, especially one that’s such a looker. The story goes that when she was just a little kid, she was being classically trained on piano, but grew tired of it. That’s when she discovered hip hop, with Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise being the first album she ever bought. From there, she fell in love with the genre and eventually was able to use the skills she learned as a musician to produce some tasty jams. Oh yeah, and she got really famous too and was signed to Flying Lotus’s label Brainfeeder. Her newest EP, released on Brainfeeder, is the latest chronicling in her adventures. It’s called Creature Dreams, and is aptly named because it was made between 2 and 7am, when her “brain works the best.” It’s a short EP, so I’d like to talk about only a couple tracks, but if you’re so inclined, click here to buy the full EP.
The first track that stood out to me was Bright Shadows. The name seems like a perfect fit for the song, as it sounds dark at times with intervening moments of luminance–it would be perfect for an after party. Changing paces, Darkest (Dim) uses fine instrumentation combined with the surreal vocals of Gavin Turek. The echo effects of the guitar progressions give the track an ethereal effect, while the chill and jazzy lyrics serve to lull you to sleep. I haven’t heard a hip hop sound this soothing since Nujabes (RIP). I highly recommend Creature Dreams if you’re in the mood to relax.