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Blxst is approaching his career the right way. After earning attention for himself in his hometown of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, the West Coast crooner stepped out on his own for the first time with his 2020 debut project No Love Lost. The eight-song effort, which was later extended to 13 thanks to a deluxe reissue, was the perfect curtain-opening moment he needed to make himself a name recognized across the country. Blxst secured that the following year when he was enlisted as a member of the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.
That same year, Blxst reconnected with his frequent collaborator Bino Rideaux for a sequel to their 2019 EP. Both Blxst and Bino had seen their careers grow exponentially since 2019’s Sixtape so it was only right that they used their brighter spotlight for Sixtape 2. A common theme in Blxst’s career is taking advantage of strong moments to boost his own stock, and after collaborations with Nas, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Buddy, YG, Mozzy, and more, he’s back with a new body of work now that a new set of eyes are on him.
Fresh off the release of his 13-track project Before You Go, we caught up with Blxst to discuss the project, his growth, and more.
After the success of No Love Lost, when did you realize it was time to go back to the drawing board for a new body of work?
I think it was slowly but surely. I was traveling a lot last year so I know it was that time, but I was trying to find that balance between being on the road and still being creative, which was a challenge but we knocked it out. We managed to make it happen.
What were some of the things that helped you find this balance and successfully work on this project as you were on the road?
Everything bro. Managing time away from the family, self-care, even all the way down to working with a personal trainer and making sure physical was right. It was finding a balance for me, that’s pretty much where I was at with it. I feel like that kind of bled into my music, my different experiences, that’s what Before You Go was compiled of.
You’re in a much different spot than you were before No Love Lost. You’ve worked with a lot of new names like Nas, Snoop Dogg, Kehlani, Rick Ross, and more. Has your established position made things easier for you? And how do you keep that initial hustle alive?
It’s crazy. I feel like I’ve built a crazy momentum and I’m just capitalizing on it right now especially following up with another body of work. No Love Lost was my first body of work and this one is my first full-length body of work, so I’m excited to see the responses from that, especially coming off a crazy feature run, like you said, with Nas, Snoop Dogg, Kehlani, Rick Ross, it’s been crazy.
Before You Go seems to have that “no hard feelings” attitude that No Love Lost has. In your opinion, in what ways are the projects similar, and what sets them apart?
Yeah, I think this one is an elevated version of No Love Lost. Like you said, it was no hard feelings, but for this one, it’s more unapologetic. This is me, love me or hate me, but before you go, this is the message I gotta tell you. Whether you want to come on this journey with me or not, that’s your choice. For my fans, to my relationships, to everything: before you go, this is what I gotta tell you.
Before we dive into the project, I like how you and Bino took a moment during the rises in your respective careers to lace another project with Sixtape 2. How has y’all relationship improved since the first Sixtape with all that’s happened in your careers?
Man, it’s crazy just to see the trajectory of where we both started to where we are now. Just off the collaborations from Sixtape alone, I feel like that was my door for people knowing who I am individually. I think I just made sure I was well-rounded. I didn’t want to be stuck as a producer as well, so I made it an intention to go hard as a solo artist. Respect to Bino as well for giving me that platform. I think it’s a mutual respect overall.
What was your muse or influences for Before You Go?
I think just my day-to-day experiences: traveling, managing family time, personal time, and self-care. That’s pretty much what I pulled my inspiration from, those challenges, those hurdles I was facing, and facing that transition of also becoming an executive outside of just being an artist. Looking at success from a different perspective. I think I had a mind shift over this past year from the success of No Love Lost. You’ll hear that in the music, you’ll hear the growth for sure.
I want to talk about the music on the project, starting with some of the features. How was it to work with Arin Ray on “Fake Love”? It’s been a while since I’ve heard from him and it’s great to see that y’all connected for one.
I’ve been listening to Arin Ray for a minute. That Platinum Fire album he dropped, that’s my go-to when I’m on the airplane. This was before I was even Blxst, so double back and be able to work with him, I think that was a full-circle moment for me.
A couple of songs later we have “Couldn’t Wait For It,” your second record with Rick Ross. How validating it is for you to have a star like Ross who wants to work with you more than once, in addition to the other big names you’ve collaborated with?
That’s legendary, I can’t make this sh*t up. It don’t get no more co-sign or stamp than that, that’s the biggest. That’s inspiration, especially as I’m aspiring to be an entrepreneur like he is as well, outside of being an artist, I think that was a dope realization for me that he f*ck with me in that light.
“Still Omw” is one of my favorite records because it’s the epitome of “the job’s not done yet” in terms of what you want for your career. With that, what is peak success for you and when would you feel like you’ve completed your job as an artist and creative overall?
Man, I think ultimately, I feel like I’m still fresh to everything. I got a foot in the door, but at this point, I gotta show my consistency. Also, I got to make it a point to make sure everybody else around me is equally or more successful than I am, whether that be putting other artists on from my city. It’s a lot more to do and I feel like it’s a long way to go, but I feel like I’m on the right track.
What song on this project do you feel speaks the most to where you’re at in your career?
I think you hit it right on the nail with “Still Omw.” It speaks on where I started, what I’m doing right now, and my aspirations for where I want to be. I want to be that executive in the next five years where I could sit back and not be so obligated to do things outside of just being a creative in general. That’s what I’m leaning towards, but that song is close to my heart for sure.
After listening to this album, it’s safe to say that Blxst has still not made one bad song yet, how often does that saying come into mind when you create?
I ain’t gonna lie, saying that was like a gift and a curse because now it’s like people are waiting for me f*ck up you know? I like to challenge myself and hold myself up to a standard where I can always be the best version of myself. So yeah, that line always comes to mind whenever I’m making something cause I’m like damn now I can’t f*ck up (laughs).
With this project, want do you want people to keep in mind as they listen?
I just want them to grow with me. This is the journey, I’m learning as I go, but I’m still not stopping the creative process as far as people knowing what’s going on in my day to day or what I’ve been experiencing. A lot of times, I be second-guessing myself still, but I want people to see that I’m human as well. It’s cool to second guess yourself as long as you face your fears. It’s cool to be scared, but you still gotta face your fears.
Before You Go is out now via Red Bull Records and Evgle. You can stream it here.