By: Seamus Fay
Well, we’re almost there. The Ask For Juan Instagram (@askforjuan) is only 50 followers away from 1000, and Proper Finessments is going to be released any day now. It’s been a long wait, but thanks to guest verses, some shows, etc, Jefe helped out and made it bearable. Today I wanted to talk about what we can expect from the project in terms of its takeaway. To do so, it’s important to understand the first time I encountered the Roxbury artist.
My first experience with Jefe Replay came during the summer of 2016. I attended a show at the Sinclair for the Bring Your Friends tour with Michael Christmas and Tunji Ige, and with essentially no knowledge of the Boston rap scene at that time, I walked into the venue expecting something much different than what happened. When Jefe Replay got on stage, he waited probably 15 seconds to say anything. As I watched everyone lose it at the sight of this unknown figure, trying to dap him up from the crowd, yelling his name, I immediately realized that he didn’t even need to say anything. He had this incredible aura about him, a natural leader, to say the least, possessing a tremendous stage presence that overpowered that of any artist I had seen before. With each song he performed, the crowd seemed to rally behind him, praising the effortless style that came with his image and delivery. It was something special.
But the part that I remember most came when his set was about to finish. I had already decided to make sure I did my research on this guy after the show, and with my full attention directed toward the greatness happening in front of me, he sat down on the stage and started talking to the crowd. Rather than giving the regular “thank you for coming out” kind of speech, he started to speak on the leadership that everyone has in them and why we need to use it. He riddled out gem after gem of advice on being a leader and how to pave your own way in the world using the least amount of words I had ever seen make such a big impact. The truth was, he didn’t need to speak much to say the most, and ever since that day I had respect for him.
So how does that bring us to Proper Finessments? Well, with the project almost here, I’ve realized that these same lessons Jefe Replay helped demonstrate to me at this show are still prevalent in every move he makes today. If there’s one big takeaway from the project as a whole, it’s about being your own leader and, as he said in his Highsnobiety interview, never compromising your vision. Ask For Juan and Proper Finessments are products of this leadership and hard work, and to see them come into fruition is nothing less than inspirational. They act as a reminder of what a boss really looks like, and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t play some part in my inspiration for starting this site.
The Roxbury native is demonstrating how you become a leader, how you don’t take no for an answer, how you control your own destiny, how you work hard until results show, and arguably most important, how you can quietly become one of the best at what you do without having to scream it to the world, all by making smart moves towards your future. Creating such a strong aesthetic and marketing himself so well, it’s important to understand that Jefe Replay’s journey is, in lot of ways, a gem for Boston to learn from and rally behind. Replay is living proof that it’s all right there if we want it.
Thank you for inspiring so many out there, me included, Jefe. The world is ready for Proper Finessments.