Opinion: Hip Hop's Healthiest Rapper resonates with a lot of us
Within recent Hip Hop, there has always been a substantial variety of topics used in the music. You can name drop any artist and you can identify their standard rhythm of word choice that you’ll get from them. Benny the Butcher – the voice of the streets. Young Thug – flexin’ his jewelry with impeccable delivery. Comethazine – captivating violence.
Us fans love a mix of it all, even if we’re not rocking Vetement with every outfit or blasting our enemies with a black market-bought Desert Eagle. But what rapper is consistently going in the booth to rhyme about eating organics within their discography? Who’s really vacuuming their carpet in their Instagram stories and pouring up water in a mug in their music videos? Larry June is that guy and he’s representing all of us who are simply trying to better our lifestyles.
I got into Larry June about a year ago when he dropped “Adjust to the Game” – an album that has since propelled his career toward a direction of widespread recognition. Apart from realizing June had one of the cleanest album covers in the game, posing with expensive, classic cars accompanied by scenic backdrops, he was particularly unique with the essence of his music.
An ex-pusher turned nutrition and lifestyle guru, Larry June has vouched for the demographic of fans like me who both understand the hustle and shop at Whole Foods. Take his lyrics from “Matcha with Larry”, (for those who don’t know Matcha is an antioxidant-filled green tea), “I’m poolside with it and my juice expensive”. Rapping about pricey juice comes off as underwhelming but it is a subtle flex for the fruit smoothie community considering a fresh, locally-sourced cup can go for more than six dollars.
June comes with a nonchalant but inspiring aura that leaves you feeling like your riding shotgun in an SLS with him. There is no blatant outshining the rest of us common folk, but instead uplifting our ambitions through the imagery of his experiences in songs like “Financial Freedom” and “2002 S500 Benz”.
In a No Jumper interview back in 2016, June said, “5 years from now it’s about who out here being free, who’s out here livin’, you wanna be in jail?.” He went on to say, “Everybody promoting lean, doing drugs, out here killin’ themselves. I mean here’s an orange.”
It’s inevitable that oranges are the healthful deity in June’s world considering he is from the Bay area. But the orange is not only one of California’s main profitable exports, it is also an influential symbol of what June stands for. Healthy living dominates all aspects of his branding from lyrics to merchandise to his visuals. It’s a representation that can only be perceived as positive and one to strive for.
Poetically flowing about guns and drugs are instrumental to telling the realities of a lot of artists but June’s wholesome energy of eating fruit and taking care of yourself is a message that no one can confuse. We’re talking about a guy who raps about drinking alkaline water and watering plants in his house. June’s repetitive zeal for a beneficial route of living is what we all need to hear and embody.
There’s a handful of us who are fresh out of college living (what we like to think) cool lives and working at an okay paying job. We like pricey Kiehl’s body wash and pay three dollars for an Essentia water bottle. We’re still learning to balance financial stability while buying our material desires, not to mention attempting to be the best version of ourselves physically and mentally. 27-year-old June may not intend to but the life he portrays in his lyrics is a muse for the young and driven.
Speaking for myself, June’s music has been a daily motivator to continue replenishing my body with what it needs and keeping my goals focused. June doesn’t rap self-righteously or boastfully. His songs are conversational and aspirational for everyone including himself. Like every self-proclaiming rapper, he keeps it real but with an authenticity that can resonate with a lot of us.