I am proud to introduce DJThriller, an independent artist who is about to make a profound impact on the rap scene. Born Joshua Hurst in Ladera Heights, CA, this 20-year-old MC is establishing his lane at the intersection of rap, R&B, and neo-soul. Currently based in Northridge as a TV Production student, Hurst's goal is to uplift marginalized voices through inclusive artistry. His story is very simple. He wants \"to find a footing in this game, to bring a new wave to a genre that has not been able to grasp on to culture since the early 2010s."

His latest single, "Make It," is a gritty, unapologetic return to the golden era of hip-hop. But far from just rehashing the past, "Make It" is a heartfelt exploration of DJThriller's experiences as a young, queer black artist fighting to make his voice heard.

The understated production sets the perfect stage for DJThriller's commanding vocal presence. A chopped, looping funk sample lays down the backbone with its slightly detuned warmth and swinging, syncopated cadence conjuring memories of classic DJ Premier joints. DJThriller's rapping is simply masterful, swinging together a torrent of internal rhyme phrases and flowing between flows with ease. His shrill rasp imparts a visceral intensity to his storytelling. The core groove is an intricately chopped funk sample, slightly pitched down to emulate the warped, sludgy aesthetic of classic hip-hop records.

As someone who loved the 90s/early 2000s boom-bap era, I have a deep personal connection to the sounds and aesthetics that DJThriller taps into on "Make It". Hearing him resurrect that gritty production style coupled with his rhyme fireworks sparked an immediate sense of nostalgia and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I'm hungry to hear a full project from DJThriller that further expands on the thematic threads teased in "Make It". His ability to poetically depict slice-of-life vignettes has me looking for more tracks over his dizzying instrumentals. I'd also love to hear him experiment with more sung melodies and hooks to add another dimension to his bravura rapping.

More than anything, though, I want DJThriller to stay true to his bold, uncompromising artistic vision. In an era of music oversaturated with formulaic mumble rap, his sound and artistry is a breath of fresh air. As he continues to elevate his skills, I can see him catalyzing a much-needed resurgence of complex, intellectually substantive hip-hop from the left-of-center fringes.

DJThriller is well on his way to accomplishing his goal of sparking an artistic movement rooted in empowerment and belonging. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in DJThriller's world by streaming "Make It" across all major platforms.

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