The Break Presents: Masego
Masego has created and curated a new wave known as "trap house jazz," blending infectious Southern beats like "Knuck If You Buck" with classical jazz elements and a cartoonish character. That's why this 22-year-old saxophonist popping up on tracklists with GoldLink and Sango is becoming a true Renaissance man. Though he's fostered the sound on his own, 'Sego credits a friend, David Connelly, with coming up with the sub-genre's name. "He doesn’t have TV or phone; he’s just really in that time period he makes hip-hop beats," 'Sego explained to XXL. So, we’re chopping it up one day, we’re making beats and then he starts playing this James Brown documentary and then I played some of my beats for him and he’s like, “Bro, this joint is like ignorance meets elegance…it’s like trap house jazz.”
Fueled by the single "Girls That Dance," 'Sego's most recent project, Pink Polo EP dropped in July 2015 and was the perfect soundtrack for impromptu rooftop parties of mixed crowds. Get to know the man behind the movement below.
Reppin’: Born in Jamaica, but I rep Virginia
I grew up listening to: I think my foundation came from listening to old school gospel. I grew up listening to Kirk Franklin when he had hair, Don Peachey. I mean, both my parents are pastors, so growing up I had to listen to gospel music initially. I think, as I got older I started discovering big band type of jazz and it was pretty much all that. Fun fact, I’m just now figuring out all the hip-hop history. I would say I was like a junior in high school when I first started figuring things out. Like, I didn’t know why people were tripping over Jay Z. I didn’t know why 2Pac was a big deal other than his poetry we studied in class. I was just in a different box, you know? It was crazy. And high school is when I started figuring things out. I remember I was a freshman in high school the first time I heard OutKast. Jazz was my thing. I was slow with that. I started playing sax when I was fourteen because I’m like a real competitive person when it comes to winning girls attention. And there was this girl that I really wanted the attention of and I found out she really liked jazz. I was like “Aight, let me look up jazz,” saxophone popped up I was like, “Aight, cool.” And at the time I had to choose for like, the art time of the day so I picked the saxophone and then every Sunday I would just listen for the jazz station on the radio and just try to learn and become dope so I could impress her.
My style has been compared to: I’ve definitely heard the Cab Calloway comparisons a lot. I definitely identify with him once I watched the documentary on him. A lot of my style comes from Cap Calloway. Some people say Jamie Foxx just because fusing the whole comedy with music is something I feel like he coined very well.
Something people don't know about me: I think by top of next year, I’ll have an iPhone app I’m working on. It’s basically putting the element skill bartering into one community. It’s all about community. Like, I use Twitter because of the people on Twitter, not because it’s the only social media ever, you know? It’s going to be called Network by Masego. So it’s going to be my network and expanding and that’s what makes it so unique because we don’t all have the same crew and cliques and everything.
My stand out record or moment to date: It’s definitely “Girls That Dance.” How that song came about was just your average homies, having guy talk about you females and we were talking about our favorite traits about females. And one dude was like, “If a shorty can cook, that’s all she wrote.” And I was like, “Yo, if she can dance, everything just falls into place.” So, we’d just throw on different beats and freestyling. Fifteen minutes, we come up with “Girls That Dance,” Anthony and me basically. And that was like April, May, back when I would steal people’s beats on SoundCloud, tweet at them, tell them like, “Yo, I stole your beat and I’m playing sax over it.” So, that was around the time I met Medasin and that song just fit that beat perfectly so we worked together so well.
My goal in hip-hop is: To innovate and inspire. By innovate I just mean pushing the culture, that’s my main thing. I don’t like stagnant. I don’t like doing the same thing we’re used to. I like how hip-hop is just shocking and fun. And inspiring is like we’re not just doing this for nothing, like there’s people out there that are picking up the instrument because you’re playing it or they feel encouraged because they’re listening to your music. So, when it becomes more than just plays on SoundCloud or impressing your friends and actually inspiring someone else that’s what’s really dope to me.
I’m the next: I’m going to be the first Masego. I’m going to be the first person to do every creative idea he’s ever had in his head. Get it all out, whether it’s dope or not it’s getting done.
Standout: "Girls That Dance"
Pink Polo EP