I'll go ahead and admit that we miss a lot of stuff at We Listen For You.  Very few music bloggers/writers look back on previous months or years and compose posts of what they should have posted about - how could they with the music machine pumping out hundreds of new tracks, album announcements, and videos each week?  I can't remember the last time I saw a glowing album review several months after its release, and it's simple: bloggers don't want to admit that they whiffed on something great.  I'll be vulnerable and admit that all of us here at WLFY have struck out at some point, missing, ignoring, or passing on possible great albums.  It happens to us (music fans) all the time ("how did I miss this great album" or "why didn't I listen to this sooner") so why don't you see it reflected on music blogs?  What I've seen over the last six years of blogging is that a track or album has a web lifespan.  A new track must be posted within a week or two and an album must be reviewed in three weeks - after that, the media for review/post is almost considered dead.

Well, we're not doing that.  No music or media will have a life expectancy here at WLFY and we'll let you know when we missed something, starting with the absolutely wonderful Jalin Roze.  A few weeks ago, I went and saw the hip-hop artist perform live and was instantly won over by the unique, easy intelligence that Jalin Roze exhibits.  I was slapping myself because many trusted friends here in Louisville had told me over and over that Roze was the best hip-hop artist in town, and that his 2012 release Grand National Dreams was a must listen.  I ignored all of it, and now I'm licking my wounds.  To date, Roze has released five full mixtapes that act as a resume for why the world needs to hear him immediately.

Let's start with his newest piece of media, a music video that is over a month old (dead in the blog world).  The visuals for his Grand National Dreams single "Ladies and Gentlemen" features crisp, shifting black and white frames with moody color video that create the perfect backdrop for Roze's laid-back flow while taking nothing away from his poetic rhymes.  The song features one of my favorite hip-hop lyrics I've heard in a while:

"I never listen to all the math problems of functions... cause they told me that I couldn't make something out of nothing"

Which leads us to his latest "already dead" mixtape from November of 2012, Grand National Dreams, an album that would have been in my top ten of 2012 had I caught it earlier   I've had a problem with relatability of content in hip-hop over the last few years, but here, Roze dedicates his entire album to the theme or dreams and desire.  It's refreshing to hear an artist talk about what he wants rather than boasting about everything that he has.  Every listener can connect with Roze on Grand National Dreams, as his passion outlines his desire to be the best artist he can be.  The funny thing is that while he hasn't "made it" to the top as he dreams on the album, Grand National Dreams itself puts him at the desired level of greatness.  If you want to know what Jalin Roze is about, hear his overflowing talent, and need a starting place, a few full listens to Grand National Dreams is all a listener needs.

I then suggest listeners just go backward in time through Roze's mixtapes.  One of my favorite moments from his old gems is the bold decision to sample a nice little indie track from The Bird and The Bee.  There is no way these two smashed together should have worked, but it does, and it shows off Roze's endless ability to interpret sounds and morph his lyrical approach to shifting melodies.

Going through Jalin Roze's past has made one thing very clear: he is interested in pushing the boundaries of what is expected in hip-hop and will do anything that results in the best sound, regardless if it's taking a chance going against what would be immediately popular.  Here is a live video of Roze playing with the folk outfit 23 String Band.

The best thing to do is sit down and go through his mixtapes in reverse order.  Jalin Roze is one of the most refreshing and downright talented artists we have, not just in hip-hop, but in any genre today.  I'm excited to make up for missing out on his brilliance for so long, for now on, I'm locked in as fan for life.  

Here is a bonus music video for you zombie fans.   



  1. This is great. Going through his bandcamp now.

  2. Digging this, will have to give it a few more listens. Also shamelessly recommending Treehouse (, as it's also innovative hip-hop/rap, in my opinion.

  3. Oh I just I love discovering new-old music! Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Hi there! great stuff, Thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative content, it helps me a lot, keep it up

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  5. dude commited a murder and dumb niggas like free cmurder wtf ever man his dumb ass put him where hes at. Free Rap Beats