Jennifer Lee: Rabbit Monster

Rabbits, aren’t they cute? Little furry balls of fluff hopping around, eating carrots and reproducing like its nobody’s business.

Monsters, the things that go bump in the night. Things that scared us to no extent as kids and may have even had us keep a nightlight on for those especially bad nights.

tokimonsta_1

How do these two things fit together? Meet Jennifer Lee, better known to the hip hop world by her alias TOKiMONSTA. Born in Torrance, CA, Lee grew up with classical training in piano, but turned to producing left-field recordings in college. She got her start in music through fellow music producer Flying Lotus and through beat-making battles through out the Los Angeles underground hip hop scene. As she raised acclaim for herself, she started gaining notoriety among bigger DJ’s such as those on BBC. For me, I found out about TOKi through Shing02, a prominent Japanese rapper, who was featured on Nujabes’ Luv Sic series.

I actually had the pleasure of seeing Tokimonsta last week at the SoHo club in downtown Santa Barbara. I’ve been following her about 4 or 5 years, so seeing her live was something on my bucket list. That’s especially true since she’s from the same area as me, as seeing someone from your hometown make it just serves as inspiration. During that show, she hella had the crowd rocking and dropped some ratchet crazy mixes that you wouldn’t have expected from an Asian American who clocks in under 5’8. Heavy hitters, old classics, dirty drops, and a Spanish version of Hotline Bling, she kept the crowd dancing and lively for the duration of her whole set.

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