Anyone tuned into the Lowell hip-hop scene in the last few years is familiar with HeJune, and if you aren’t, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention. Yet paradoxically, I’ve always believed that HeJune still isn’t getting the credit he deserves.
As a disclaimer, I should mention I’ve worked with HeJune, playing bass as a backing band for a couple of his performances in the Lowell area. This admittedly may color my biases a bit but I promise you; it’s permissible.
HeJune has recently blessed us with his talents, dropping a visual for his single “New Vibe.” It’s a banger,for real. Even though he’s saying he needs a new vibe, if I’m being honest, kinda want him to keep it like this though because it’s sounding sick. But here’s the thing about HeJune- they’re always bangers. He never fails to deliver. And that’s exactly why I think he should be getting even more credit than he does because HeJune is like the Lowell/Lawrence scene’s Drake. It’s just guaranteed to be successful because it’s him doing it. He just doesn’t put out a song that’s lame. They’re always sick.
That’s why he’s one of the artists in the area that I’ve always staunchly supported and told people about. He’s a plain hard-working, earnest performer. He constantly hones his craft. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch him grow as an artist since he runs in some of the same circles as me (Ohana Media and Production, who mixed & mastered “New Vibe,” essentially started in the top floor of the two-story apartment in which my drummer and keyboardist from The Band Dennis lived in). He benefits from his long standing partnerships – both with Ohana Media and Production, the producers who give their final touches, and GilVideos (who themselves routinely crank out top-quality videos for HeJune and a slew of other artists). He has the work ethic and dedication of a true professional, and it’s apparent every time he puts something out.
“New Vibe” is a video I’d expect to see on MTV (or whatever today’s equivalent is, yeah, I’m old enough to remember TRL being new) and it’s not something I’d normally look at and think, “oh sure, this was done by some dudes down the street.”
I watch it and just think, oh shit, when did LA come to Lowell?
The video is rather simple in concept, but I think that stands as testimony to HeJune’s ability as a rapper. He doesn’t need to show off some phony concept of being some high-powered gangster, acting like he’s regularly shooting up the block. He’s not doing “that local rapper” thing where he pretends he’s selling AK-47s to kids behind the precinct while he slips another of his mix tapes into your 20-piece McNugget meal (respect though to whoever you were who slyly threw 508 Remixes 2004 into that spicy nugget order. Someday I’ll get your autograph). HeJune just goes up there, and raps like a beast, nothing but him, a model, and some serious skill. Listen to the cadences of his verses, the rhythms built into the lines. It’s a dude who writes out his lyrics on a note pad and then goes back and keeps tweaking them until it fits the way it should.
“New Vibe” hit YouTube on February 26, and joins a large body of visuals on HeJune’s hit list. And that doesn’t even tap into everything you’re going to find on Spotify (where he’s got a list of 15 singles and EP’s- no big deal). I strongly encourage you to check it all out, because you’re going to find that you’ve somehow been sleeping on one of the best hip-hop artists to come out of this area in a long time, but that’s okay, it’s time for you to wake up now. And maybe catch a new vibe while you’re at it!