Kenya born; Uganda, Canada, and United States raised, Tha Jist pulls influences from around the world to came out of the Boston Hip-Hop scene with his first full EP, titled Scrap Paper in early May of 2010.
Produced by friend, common collaborator, and producer, Dark Blue, Scrap Paper left behind the old school days of the lack luster, basement recorded, independent artist. This was no back alley basement venture; with hundreds of hours logged in, Tha Jist poured all of his energy and free time into the EP.
Following Scrap Paper Tha Jist has worked non-stop, performing at several universities, including Brandeis and his own Northeastern. He transformed the stages at clubs such as Royale and Umbria, and opened shows for acts like G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam’s Big Sean and J Records' “Cooler Than Me” sensation, Mike Posner.
To top it off, he was the Boston Music Conference’s (BMC) Best Hip Hop Act and Best Overall Performance of 2010.
Following a busy 2010, Tha Jist and Dark Blue headed back into the studio to record the follow up EP to Scrap Paper, titled No Idea. Both more focused and developed in their skill they went to work on the project. Seven months later they’re prepared to release their baby to the world. Much more personal and revealing, they both hope to capture new fans all while pleasing the old alike.
When not working on the music scene, Tha Jist is a full time student at Northeastern University. Studying Music Industry, he has made music his top priority, ready to take the industry on in full force. He is an artist with talent, a plan, and a mind. Working full time to support his passion and education has left Tha Jist with a level head.
A loyal friend and dedicated student on the daily, Tha Jist jumps on stage to leave it all behind. His charismatic nature is guaranteed to get any skeptic up and dancing at show.
Tha Jist- Main Vocalist
Arkitech- Singer/Back Up Vocalist
DJ Ito- DJ
2. Scrap Paper
3. No Idea
Mike Posner? Meet Her Campus Brandeis
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Mike Posner? Meet Her Campus Brandeis. Tuesday, March 2, 2010 By Abigail Katznelson Share/Save ...
Mike Posner? Meet Her Campus Brandeis.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
By Abigail Katznelson
Photo Credit: Maxwell Zotz
Tha Jist, All Out, Big Sean and Mike Posner WOW the Brandeis Crowd!
This past Tuesday night, with midterms in full swing and absolutely grotesque weather (thank you Massachusetts) over 400 Brandeis Students threw away their school-related worries and came out to Levin Ballroom for one of the most interesting set of performances we've seen in a long time. The list of performers ranged from just breaking out to making it big but no matter the difference, each one rocked the crowd. Luckily, as a member of Student Events Staff, I was able to get a front row (back stage) seat (stair) to tell you all about the show!
Now this guy knows how to work a room. As the first performer of the night, it was up to Tha Jist to get us pumped! The young, talented rapper got on stage and started the night off right with his audience cheering after each original song! After the show I had the chance to briefly talk to him and ask how he likes it here at Brandeis: he was thrilled (also incredibly nice and easygoing). Check out his Facebook page here, become a fan and look him up on You Tube. Can't wait to see him at the top!!
A different kind of music, All Out consisted of 2 guys: singing and rapping together. Along with their great performance, they brought a demo CD to sell to the crowd and ended up selling to some of the other performers who were equally as impressed with their new style. Performing for about ten minutes All Out kept their performance upbeat to the clapping and cheering of the constantly growing crowd of people. All in all an All Out success!
Big Sean brings amazing energy to the stage and is unstoppable when he gets going. With the crowd going crazy Big Sean opened for and performed with Mike Posner: the two very well together on and off the stage and are both incredibly supportive of each other. After the show Big Sean retreated upstairs with the rest of the night's performers to relax and give words of wisdom to the up and coming stars. It is clear he lives and breathes his music and he even took time to bring out a laptop and show the entire crowd his new demo. So where will Big Sean be next? We'll let that be a surprise but follow him closely and get ready for the next big sound from already innovative artist and Sean's inspiration.
Before ascending onto the stage, Mike Posner, serious and composed, peeked out just enough so that he could give Big Sean a nod and then moved back so the crowd wouldn't see him coming. Then in one fluid motion he was on the stage, completely loose and screaming to his fans (some of whom were already grabbing at his jeans). Mike Posner, performing both solo and with Big Sean) wowed the crowd with his music, both upbeat and mellow at times, and got some serious love from the crowd when he tossed out not one but two of his own shirts, singing the remainder of the show without one. After his last encore of "One Foot Out The Door", Posner pulled up one of the audience members causing a stampede of Brandeis Students onto the stage!
After the show we were able to spend some time with the performers, all of whom were so excited to be at Brandeis: some of whom had taken down the numbers of Brandeis students and wanted to spend time on campus just being college kids. My Her Campus shirt drew a lot of questions: a Women's Magazine was a very intriguing concept and when they learned I would be writing this article they were eager to hear more! Many fan pictures later we said goodnight to all of our guests and returned back our the test-filled week, looking forward to the next concert Student Events will coordinate this semester.
Tha Jist: A Q&A
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I caught up with Northeastern student rapper “Tha Jist” before he delivered a high-energy performanc...I caught up with Northeastern student rapper “Tha Jist” before he delivered a high-energy performance for a loyal audience full of friends and fans alike at After Hours on September 17th. Tha Jist is a multi-talented performer who manages to balance school, music, and working simultaneously. Born in Kenya, he has lived in Uganda, Canada, and ultimately the United States where he pursues his dreams of musical stardom. His style is listed as a mixture of electronica, hip-hop and pop yet he doesn’t necessarily agree with being labeled. The raw emotion he displays during performances and his ability to control an audience cannot be put in a box.
Tastemakers Magazine (TMM): Could you touch on your affiliation with The Music & Entertainment Industry Student Association? How did it come about and what is the function of working with them?
Tha Jist (TJ): Basically I came out with the CD last year and released it around campus and in the city. People liked it, so the next step was getting more people to hear it and I looked around to do performances. People kept telling me to check out MEISA and see if I could put on a show. I reached out to MEISA and Katie (the coordinator) who got back to me and ran the song I submitted to the group. They liked it and we worked together, I am now fully a part of MEISA.
TMM: How does your upbringing, moving around from place to place, country to country, come across through your music?
TJ: I have a very worldly view and having been in a lot of countries I am empathetic to a lot of peoples views. I can broaden the subjects I talk about and people can connect with me better. People can connect with me because they have experienced moving around as I have.
TMM: What do you feel the balance is between appealing to an intellectual crowd while maintaining a “party vibe”? This is certainly one of the biggest challenges of late, as hip-hop has dominated the pop music scene. How does one make intelligent music that the masses will accept? Do you ever worry about this conundrum?
TJ: My producer The Arkitech helps a lot because we are the same and think the same. We don’t even make pop music – that is just how our expression comes out. We never say “lets make a pop song, lets make this kind of music,” we just make it. We express it like one would express themselves through textures and colors [in a different art medium]. We don’t try to make pop music – we just make music. We don’t try to do anything specific, it just happens.
TMM: As a student, is it hard to balance your scholarly and creative pursuits? Do you find yourself becoming frustrated with a lack of time or is it more of a motivation? For example, “all right, if I do all my homework today I can get in the studio and record for a few hours tonight.”
TJ: It’s kind of hard because academic life is very scheduled and my creative life is all over the place. If we [myself and The Arkitech] are working on a song and I have an assignment I don’t want to leave the song because I am in a creative mode. I don’t want to lose it and come back to it – you want to hold the moment, so it gets hard in that regard. Well, I never sleep. I lack sleep and I am able to balance the two: not sleeping a lot and working really hard. Luckily, I have been able to do it at a level that I can maintain both to the fullest extent. I could work on a song from the time I wake up to bed but I have to go to class. I can fall back on the class work if the music falls through at the end of the day.
TMM: Musically, what are your most prominent influences outside of hip-hop?
TJ: I actually don’t even listen to much hip-hop. I listen to a lot of “mood music”: Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love Velvet Revolver and U2. I like a lot of people making music that means something. I also like a lot of R&B: Trey Songz, R. Kelly, people like that. When you only listen to hip-hop you are stuck in your ways. If you step out of that … for example, to make the album we are working on now we watched the movie Blade Runner, and we are basing the album off the feel of the movie. If you step outside of what you’re doing you can really bring in something else.
TMM: Who influenced you growing up? Was there a specific artist you saw that made you think, “Wow, I really want to be a hip-hop artist”?
TJ: It was a natural evolution. I have a heart condition so from a young age I was good at sports but my parents wanted me to do music in case I couldn’t continue athletics. So I started playing drums and piano when I was eight, and my father was an English teacher so I always had an obsession with words and poetry. Those two evolved and it has led me towards my career in music. Everything has fallen in place since then: I discovered hip-hop, met Gabe (The Arkitech) and we started working together.
TMM: You rap a lot about women. Are you ever worried your lyrics could be interpreted as misogynistic? How would you feel if somebody labeled you as a misogynist rapper?
TJ: I have a sister so she helps me keep it classy. I try to keep it classy, but then again if I feel a certain way I am going to say it. I don’t think it is misogynistic, but I do make an effort to keep it classy. I want to be able to play my music for my sister and I try to keep limits.
TMM: Is making music your main goal as of now? Would you ever put yourself in a situation where you had to choose between working in a “real life” setting or making music?
TJ: I want to be viable in many different ways. What I am hoping is that with the music and things that come with it I can create opportunity not only for myself but people I know. I want to be the catalyst for people to get places and be able to help them. If anything, it’s not like I would quit school, I am going to leave with a degree and try music. If it doesn’t work I’ll just go back to law school, I have a lot of options.
TMM: How does it feel to be one of the few artists from Africa representing hip-hop in America? You join the likes of Akon, Wale, and K’naan, the latter being the only which truly speaks about the African continent and tries to represent it positively. Have you any intentions of making connections to Africa or staying connected with it in any way?
TJ: I wear it with pride and I feel like I’m representative although I’m very Americanized. I still carry it [Africa/my experiences] with me and I want to be a good example. These are the reasons I want to stay in school. It’s not like I came here to do music, I came here to go to school and I am going to get a degree, I just so happen to also make music. I want to be able to help everyone in my family and anyone in any way I can. I would like to give back in any way because it is a part of what made me. I have to look out for that.
TMM: How far do you plan to take Feel Good Global? Do you see yourself headed more towards the entrepreneurial role or would you like to continue pursuing your craft as long as possible?
TJ: We titled it ‘global’ for a reason because we want to be international. It is The Arkitech and myself as the co-founders, and we want it to be entertaining: music, video, whatever it may be. And if we could expand to anywhere, we don’t know where it will take us but the entertainment portion is already happening. Hopefully, if we are able, we would like to push into new markets. We want to be able to flourish in whatever we do, we want to really maintain our sound, get the music out there, get everything out there and see what happens.
TMM: Any final comments for readers and fans?
TJ: Download the CD from thajist.com, tell a friend and request me wherever there is a microphone.
Tha Jist is anything but your typical rap artist. He is a thoughtful, personable, and creative individual as well as talented musician. Upon meting him you will wish nothing but success to the fullest extent. The loyal fan base present for his After Hours concert was more than enough indication of his star potential. Their devoted interest to his performance proved his ability to captivate an audience. It was easy to see that people truly care about him and the feeling is certainly reciprocal. He has the educational background, life experience, artistry and drive to make a dent in today’s music industry. Support one of Northeastern’s own by downloading his mixtape “Scrap Paper” on his website, www.thajist.com.
Sonicbids Spotlight: Tha Jist
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Economics and hip-hop often go hand in hand ("Mo Money Mo Problems," "C.R.E.A.M.," etc.), so why not...Economics and hip-hop often go hand in hand ("Mo Money Mo Problems," "C.R.E.A.M.," etc.), so why not have an actual economics student take on the rap game? Enter Boston-based MC Tha Jist. Known to his friends as Muyinza Kasirye, Tha Jist was an econ student at Northeastern University with plans to go to law school when he entered a recording studio on a lark with some high school friends. While there he rekindled a relationship with producer/engineer Gabriel Sarango, also known as Arkitech, and the two have been recording tracks together ever since. Tha Jist spits earnest, post-Kanye lyrics with nerdy references to 24 and Ripley's Believe It Or Not tucked between clever sexual come-ons and swagger-filled proclamations. Tha Jist weaves in and out of Arkitech's glossy, club-ready beats with a palpable sense of urgency, as if the songs might collapse at any second.
The son of a pastor, Kasirye was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved to Canada (look out Drake!) with his family when his father sought out a new church. His first exposure to hip-hop came from a Kriss Kross tape playing in his dad's car. “I actually recall making the comment ‘Dad, I didn't know you had such cool music in Canada’ to my father in the car,” Tha Jist tells CMJ via e-mail.
While Tha Jist's verses are often packed with tales of his own background and his own pop-culture leanings, he manages to pack those elements into hook-filled tunes that never sacrifice accessibility or individuality. “As much as I do enjoy a Flo-Rida club joint at a party, because of the depth of character I've acquired in seeing so many things by living in a couple different countries and having a pastor as a father, I've tended towards creating and listen to hip hop, and music in general, with more depth,” says Tha Jist. “I feel the need to say more and touch on important subjects and enjoy more music that does the same.”
“I am still studying cconomics, but have since kept that as minor and changed my major to music industry,” he says. “I just felt it was the way to go as I'm an artist and need to learn these things if I want to take this further.” Tha Jist's background in economics might have something to do with his ambitious business plan for success. After releasing a mixtape bluntly titled Bootleg This, PLEASE!!!, he teamed up with Arkitech to write a full-length, Scrap Money, which he released via his own record label, Feel Good Global.
“I'm currently working on my next mixtape No Idea due out in October and also me and my producer Arkitech are working on my first true album,” he says. A Kenyan-born, Canadian-raised, Boston-educated rapper might not be what the rap market is craving, but in today's rocky economic climate all bets are off. Tha Jist just might be the stimulus package that hip-hop needs.
He’s making music out of family’s multiple struggles
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He’s making music out of family’s multiple struggles By Darren Sands, Globe Correspondent | Feb...He’s making music out of family’s multiple struggles
By Darren Sands, Globe Correspondent | February 11, 2007
There is a picture of Muyinza Kasirye in the family dining room with a poem by Mamie Gene Cole attached to it. His father, Alex Kasirye Musoke, then pastor of the Leamington United Church in Ontario, framed that picture above a poem and hung it in his office.
Walking over to take the picture off the wall recently in their Dorchester home, the pastor paused and looked proudly at his son, now a young man. I am the child
All the world waits for my coming
All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become
Civilization hangs in the balance,
For what I am the world of tomorrow will be child.
"This was the first thing I saw in his office.
I just couldn't stop looking at it," remembers Muyinza, whose name means "God is Almighty."
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Muyinza Kasirye's life experience may be a testament to his powerful name. The Boston College High senior, 18, has a heart condition called subaortic stenosis. His family is from Kampala, Uganda, and they lived in Europe and Canada before settling in Dorchester.
Kasirye recently marked the anniversary of his mother's death; she died days after he turned 12. He wrote a song about her once, he said. Around that time he starting making music. "I never recorded it but when I read it now it seems like I am my own older brother," he said. "It was so close to the time when she died. I had the least time with her."
That song is embedded in one of those rhyme books Kasirye keeps to write in that is built to survive lyrical journeys on the T, rain, and Kool-Aid stains.
"If someone found this [book] they would say that this person is completely off the charts with their personality," Kasirye said with laughter. He laughed because in rapping, he uses both spiritual imagery and language that make his father -- the pastor of the Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church in Dorchester -- alternately grin with pleasure and cringe in disbelief.
Rapping is little more than hobby for this senior, who hopes to attend Fordham, BC, the University of Toronto, or the University of Western Ontario. Even so, next month he will release a mixtape, a CD titled "Tha Jist of It Vol. 1," which he produced with one of his brothers.
"This is only a snapshot of me," he said of his lyrics. "I think it's almost like an outpour of all the things that go through your head."
He got into music and writing because it wasn't clear whether his heart was strong enough to allow him to do what he loved most -- sports. Subaortic stenosis is an obstruction or narrowing of the left ventricular outflow tract, which slows the flow of blood to the rest of Kasirye's body. It's a progressive disease that requires close monitoring.
Kasirye takes his music seriously "because I like doing it. But at the same time I do it for fun. That way anything I get for doing it is a bonus."
With family spread all over the world, Kasirye and his father have found a home in Boston, having moved from place to place because of his father's ministry. Originally from Uganda, Kasirye Musoke's immediate and extended family was largely spared from the merciless regime of Idi Amin. It wasn't until after the dictator was overthrown that armed forces destroyed his father's farm on suspicion that he provided food to the opposition army. He had the farm for 50 years.
Said Kasirye Musoke: "He walked away with just his clothes on his back. I think that's what killed him."
Although they consider themselves Ugandan-Canadians, and have flags from both countries in their living room, the family is in the process of becoming American citizens. Kasirye is as busy as any high school senior, spending nights at his part-time job at MicroCenter in Cambridge.
He is suffering from a self-diagnosed case of senioritis and hopes the school administration will let him perform a rebellion song on behalf of seniors at the end of the year, something he says is a BC High student tradition.
His father knows that Kasirye is not the little boy in that picture anymore. It is reflected in the way he helps Kasirye deal with his heart condition.
"I'm there for him, and I remind him of the things he has to do, but as he grows older I'm letting him take over," he said. "It used to be very tough when he was young because he would be out of breath and tired all time. But as he grew older he realized that this is something that he has to take care of. He's doing well. So now I am more concerned than I am worried."
As the framed poem continues: I am the child.
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail, Give me, I pray you, these things that make for happiness.
Train me. I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world. He is not a child, but the father finds a number of reasons to be proud of his son, the youngest of three siblings and, his father added, "the nicest looking."
Darren Sands can be reached at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.
4. Huh 2.0
6. Die Today
Entire set time totaling approximately 30-40 minutes but can be changed suited to the performance.