Nixxon Brings Pop Touches to His Trap Sound on "Bizerk" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of the artist

Nixxon's latest album Black Velvet continues in the tradition of heavy, booming trap beats and smoky atmospherics. Hear new single "Bizerk" now.

No matter what point Jesse Dempster, a.k.a. Nixxon, arrives at in his career, he will never truly escape the conversational hump that is the Weeknd, his former musical partner-in-rhyme (as he's called it). As one half of Bulleez N Nerdz, Nixxon traded breathy raps with the Weeknd's more direct rhymes to create a sort of lo-fi update on the '90s rap duo formula. The Weeknd would find fame and fortune not long after the demise of his short-lived duo while Nixxon (then recording as Jesse Ray) silently toiled away in the background, working on various solo projects himself.

While nowhere near as illustrious as his former bandmate, Nixxon has managed to produce a solid body of work these last few years, favoring trap beats and moody R&B melodies for his stories of millennial angst. His 2016 EP For No Good Reason was followed by last year's Penthouse , and now the rapper/singer has just released Black Velvet, his latest work, which continues in the tradition of heavy, booming trap beats and smoky atmospherics.

Nixxon performs his first proper solo live set this October at the Milk Glass in Toronto (where he's from), after more than a decade since his debut performance as the Weeknd's musical partner at the University of Toronto. Tentative single (the rapper is notoriously fickle about his promotion) "Bizerk" is a decidedly more pop turn on the trap conventions that have plagued radio as of late. At any rate, the rapper is excited and ready for his upcoming show. "Nothing piques my energy like being on stage," he says. "It's hard for me to go out after and rage even more because I really give it everything I have. Imagine a race car with a full tank of gas, gunning it until there's nothing left and then doing a victory lap. The car's going to need some repairs – we all do."

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