Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
Recent Projects: Raccoons of Chestnut Street (2016)
Songs to Check Out:
- Same Old Hoodie (4:17)
- Forever Inside ft. Beezy (4:51)
- High Five ft. Cold Sweat (3:34)
- What We Love (3:08)
I want to go ahead and say I regret using my Mac Miller comparison already in this project. Out of North Dakota is Jantzonia, and while he may not sound quite like Miller, a lot of the beats he spits over are similar and much of his music is great for just sitting back and chilling out. A surprisingly nice artist in an otherwise devoid area, Jantzonia has proven that North Dakota isn’t a complete wash.
Fun fact for those who don’t know – Wiz Khalifa is originally from Minot, ND. Another fun fact, he reps Pittsburgh (where he went to high school), and as a result you probably know of virtually no North Dakota artists. Jantzonia and some other artists from around North Dakota tried to fix that, forming music group “Zen People”, a collaboration of hip-hop artists from around North Dakota in order to pool available resources to make some dope music. This is a pretty common theme from many artists in small states and something I’ve noticed happen time and time again while doing this project. It makes sense, and works in this case, as some of Jantzonia’s best songs are featuring other members of this group. The name is appropriate too, as all of them fit into the more relaxed vibes and often rap over very jazzy or mellow production.
Jantzonia definitely falls short in a few places, with the most egregious being his mixing. There are many times where his voice seems out of whack or poor quality or overall not fitting the beat like it should. I thought maybe this was just his voice and I’d have to get used to it but I found it was definitely out of place on some songs as compared to others, and if he’s been doing his own mixing then that’s something that will just improve with experience and added resources. Another area is flow. By and large Jantzonia manages to ride the wave of his songs well, however he has a tendency to go double time in order to fit in rhymes and it really messes with the groove of the song. It’s not a constant thing but it definitely occurs and is something to work on.
As a whole, I’m not mad about Jantzonia. He’s not going to be the next Drake or anything, and he probably won’t be the next Wiz Khalifa either, but he’s not bad. I drove around listening to his music at night time and actually really enjoyed myself, as he improves and works on his mixing and flow, I can see him making an excellent project and gaining some real followers. I expect 2017 to be a year of growth for him.