Is Lex the Hex Master the start of a New Juggalo Sound?
Evolution, its defined in Merriam Webster as a process of slow change and development. Right now that’s exactly what’s happening in the world we all know and love, the world of the underground. With the creation of new labels, the signing of new artists of multiple styles, existing artist changing their own game and bringing their music evolution to the underground is inevitable and it’s happening. Now is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, to me its great thing! In all genres of music there is a transition period of artists and their styles. That’s what is happening now and what has needed to happen for some time.
Let me first start by addressing the shift of powers. What once was the king of the underground and the Juggalo culture has waivered quite a bit. With the creation of additional labels most notably Majik Ninja Entertainment and Strange Music, Psychopathic Records has legitimate competition and from my side of things they are not adapting to this shift of power. So what got me thinking about all of this you ask? Well with Majik Ninja’s newest signee Lex the Hex Master he is slowly changing the game bringing a new sounds to a genre that for some was beginning to get dry and yearned for something different. He is a breath of fresh air and hopefully the start of a new wave of artists to the underground.
With the most recent release of the “Jimmy Crack Corn” freestyle Lex released and the DOA freestyle he released a few weeks ago, the world is buzzing over this new face in underground hip hop. This is after he completed his first two tours, and released his first EP, under Majik Ninja Entertainment which went national after a short time, originally being a tour and Twiztid Shop exclusive. The first week the EP was out, it charted 26th in Indy Rap chart and quite well in the Rap Chart. But with all the good and bad feedback on videos and the EP, the huge accomplishments and following he has gained in such a short time is quite impressive. But what is Lex doing for the Juggalo music world and is Majik Ninja becoming a power house to be feared by the other labels amongst their genre?
Let’s talk about Lex first, born and raised in New York, Queens specifically, has been doing music for quite a long time. According to the interviews, Jr. High school is really when he started getting into Rap specifically. Since then he’s been working on getting better and growing his craft into what we are all hearing today. Back in February was my first interaction with Lex. I remember going up to him and saying hello before his set and actually telling him I was most excited to see him at the show, since Bomb on Em’ and Ninja’s was the only songs we had heard from the new artist. After the set, he blew me away! Why you ask? Because he had a new sound and no I don’t mean he was new in the Juggalo World. He had a sound you don’t always hear at your typical Juggalo Show, a more NY inspired sound. It was quite familiar to me, being from the east coast myself, I was always drawn to the mainstream and underground rappers coming from NY. After the show I had the fun opportunity to talk with him first hand, never had I ever met such a humble, easy to talk to person with an undeniable passion for his music and a clear appreciation for the opportunity he has been given through being signed to Majik Ninja Entertainment.
Some of the comments that have gone around the air waves is that Lex is a breath of fresh air to the underground scene, like I stated above, I have to agree. The thing I like about Lex and this mighty sound crazy is he does not scream Juggalo. I know to the outside main stream world if you paint your face your immediately a juggalo and as some people have commented an “ICP wanna be.” But is he a new sound for the underground, is he bringing that new life that is needed? Absolutely and let me tell you why. Unlike a lot of the artists new and old, Lex’s sound is more organic and bringing back hip hop to this music scene we live in. A lot of the albums that have been released recently seems like they are trying too hard and grasping at straws to keep fans or in most cases keep the money rolling in. And with the release of the video’s he’s showing he’s doing work, wanting to bring more music as we anxiously await the release of the LP later on this year.
Sadly, I have to use the examples of ICP’s Marvelous Missing Link Lost and Found. I give them a lot of credit for trying to evolve in sound but it didn’t work for them. I think they have worked so hard to have there clown persona, when getting away from that sound in the music, to me, made them sound more of new kids on the block than the legends they are within the scene. I have to say I did like two or three of the songs off the albums and I did listen cover to cover but I couldn’t get into it. Currently, I would say young wicked is the most solid artist coming from the label at this time, the year’s not over yet so we will see how what happens. They do have a new artist they are debuting at the Gathering and I’m eagerly awaiting to hear who he or she is and what they have to offer.
Now what makes Lex different? He raps and wear’s face paint. What sets him apart? In this case in particular, he has a NY sound and authentic hip hop with a touch of some rock tones and his ability to start to adapt to his new fanbase and needed change. “Anarchy” is a perfect example of this evolution of sound. The original can be found if you search through youtube and is very different from what we all have heard on the Black Season EP. The song’s a lot harder now with replacing a few beats it changed the whole dynamic of the song, however the lyrics remained the same. Lex being able to readapt to the beat and still go hard in its self is an accomplishment. You don’t lose the integrity of the lyrics but the feeling does change through the beat. It’s come to my attention that the new and the old are not mixing. Some juggalos will always swear by the original Jokers Cards and that first ICP era and everything that came with it. Where the new Juggalos are more into the newer deck and the newer artists that are being signed or pulled from existing groups. But Lex is someone and something completely new. You have the old school and new school Juggalos relating to the music and the artists based off of 6 songs 2 of which are rereleases he had already done under previous stage name Lex Masters. But I believe this is not only due to his music but also his personality wanting to meet the people.
This brings me to the videos Lex did, as I stated above Lex released a quick no real production Freestyle on Facebook to Jay Z’s D.O.A beat and most recently the “Jimmy Crack Corn” freestyle. The first video was a raw and simple video that showcased Lex in a very different way. The video was put up on worldstar.com and received mixed reponses, the comments on the video are more about his face paint than his skills. Now yes I know there will always be haters and trolls, but sometimes I wonder about the validity in statements like he’s a “ICP Wannabe” don’t get me wrong, I understand the association with face paint and ICP in the underground, but would you say that ICP were Kiss wannabes? The fact that that video had more response than Lex’s initial release Bomb On Em’ speaks to the following he has gotten in his short time signed to MNE. For those who can look past the face paint have raved about the fact he can write and can perform like a beast. The “Jimmy Crack Corn” freestyle, almost seemed like a response video to some of the hate received from the first one. Some of the lyrics spoke to me as a middle finger to the haters a bit, almost to say I see you but you don’t bother me. Lex has shown a lot of hard work in his short time in the limelight and I really look forward to see what next for Lex and MNE.
Now let me finalize this with, this is my opinion seeing what I see in front of me. I know TJF would love to have a sit down with Lex and discuss his thoughts about this new life he’s a part of. Majik Ninja and Strange both are doing big things in this level of the music game, giving new things a chance and it’s not back firing on them. Where other pieces of the market are stuck and not looking outside the box. Not to mention the number of new labels coming up and making names for themselves and being recognized. If a lot more of the labels could start doing that and giving some really talented unsigned and undiscovered artists a chance, that might not be the exact cookie cutter we expect to come out into the scene. We could really bring to life a complete new Era to the Juggalo Music movement. Want to know more about Lex The Hex Master be sure to check out his socials and his set at this years Gathering of the Juggalos at 12:30 Friday night on the Carousel Stage! Facebook Twitter @Lexthehexmaster IG @Lexthehexmaster. I want to know what you all think, this is just my opinion, let us know yours!