Void Magazine is nearly a decade young (old?). And try as we might to keep our finger on the pulse of our city’s emerging talent, things sometimes evade our oximeter*. We’re getting older, sure. And you’ll have to forgive us for only just now being turned on to the transcendent music of singer, rapper, and Duval wunderkind Justin Time The Rookie–hey, he’s only 19-years old!
The Rookie–whose real name is Justin Reid–has already released a smattering of EPs and this year’s I Not Sorry should certainly serve as a kind of coronation for Reid as one the region’s most promising young pop talents. Reid’s smooth vocal style and effortless flow certainly carry the day on I Not Sorry. But a deeper listen reveals the youngster’s ear for distinctive soundscapes. The record’s first single “Oh Romeo!” is decidedly saccharine, propelled by a playful melody and jubilant Latin percussion. Meanwhile, the title track warbles through contemporary electronics and 808 beats under the weight of The Rookie’s flow and melodious hook.
A recent graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, The Rookie’s music is steeped in both contemporary and retro modes. Reid cites power pop icons like Michael Jackson and Beyonce as influences. And I Not Sorry‘s combination of clever lyrics, facile mic skills, and vocal prowess certainly place Reid’s music in the modern pop realm–a genre that is today soaked in various modes of hip hop, r&b, soul, jazz, and electronics.
Click play to see why we’re apologizing for not turning you on to Justin Time The Rookie sooner.
*A tool for checking someone’s pulse.