*Correction: This story was originally published with the name of one of Young Braised’s mix tapes omitted. The mix tape name is Drunk Muzik. The story was updated on July 12.
So you’re having trouble coming up with a rap moniker? Try this: open up the takeout menu from your favourite Chinese food joint, look for the most foul and obscure-sounding dish, shorten it for stylistic purposes and presto: you’re ready to record a mix tape.
Hey, it worked for Young Braised.
The Victoria-based MC is the brainchild of Cranbrook native Jaymes Bowman, whose passion for hip-hop and frustration with the status quo propelled him to create a rapping alter ego with a diverse musical palette that ranges in influence from The Diplomats to Depeche Mode.
“Young Braised is the culmination of a lot of things,” says Bowman. “I have been rapping and honing the craft of doing so since elementary school — what I would label as recreationally — but basically Young Braised is the first step beyond that. I mean, Young Braised as a persona is no different than me; fed up with the definition of hip-hop, rap, pop, etc. — the genres and labels that be.”
That notion certainly informed his first two mix tapes. In Drunk Muzik, Braised takes on beats from The Diplomats’ music catalogue, while in Special Herbs and Slices he offers his personal entry into MF DOOM’s acclaimed Special Herbs and Spices instrumental album with original raps over the metal-faced man’s tracks. Braised’s reliance on two very different hip-hop acts reflects his appreciation for the whole spectrum of hip-hop sub-genres.
“I’m a fan of all rap as long as I can appreciate the artistry,” says Bowman. “At the end of the day, DOOM and The Diplomats both tell a story in their own way, and I like both their versions. [It’s] the same way we read different authors and watch different movies; it just has to be done critically.”
Apart from a blossoming solo career, Braised also makes up one-half of Victoria’s hip-hop duo HYPERLINX alongside local DJ and producer Sean Evans (a.k.a. Full Function). The group has already opened for Jet Life’s Curren$y and will do the same for Shady Records’ Yelawolf on Sept. 4 at Club 9one9.
“I do all the vocal work, and [Evans] does all the production,” says Bowman. “It’s a project that really helped me get off the ground as an artist. Both my mix tapes were recorded after we started work on our album.”
Braised also objects to the regional constraints that affect a lot of hip-hop artists’ work. It’s difficult to find remnants of past B.C. artists such as Rascalz and Swollen Members in his sound.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from anymore. Guys from New York do “southern” music, guys from L.A. do east coast rap — let alone Canadian artists,” says Bowman. “Location doesn’t interest me. If you’re doing your own thing, then you’re doing your own thing.”
HYPERLINX will be releasing their self-titled debut album on July 28 with a show at Castle Video Bar above Paul’s Motor Inn on Douglas Street. Braised also plans to release his third solo mix tape, Big Trouble in Little China, by early August.
HYPERLINX album release party with Dreamboat and Varry White
Saturday, July 28
Castle Video Bar (1900 Douglas St.)
Tickets $10 (available at Four Horsemen, Complex and Ditch Records)