Jez Dior

Bringing elements of millennial rap, Skid Row decadence, and influences that ranged from Kurt to Kanye, Jez Dior melded his smooth, languid flow with a rock & roll aesthetic, complete with eyeliner, leather, and nail polish. A self-proclaimed "grunge rap" artist from Los Angeles, he embodied both that city's gritty sleaze and its musical legacy -- he's the son of British musician Steve Dior (associate of the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls), who informed much of his flavor) -- while creating an entirely refreshing sound. On his 2013 mixtape, Scarlett Sage, Dior let all his influences in. He sampled Daughter, Marina and the Diamonds, and Lana Del Rey, spit hard and fast, and created an album's worth of exciting genre-bending alt-rap. With a golden flow and fluid drawl, Dior mashed alternative, indie, and even some dubstep on highlights that included "Candles," "Hide," and "Blue" (featuring an inspired Eiffel 65 sample). In 2014 he released the track "Who Drank My Whiskey?," which finally brought that grunge element to the forefront, with a Cobain-esque scream-chorus and thrumming '90s riffs. "Whiskey" was the sonic precursor to the Funeral EP, a full realization of his vision. Over seven hard-hitting tracks, he proclaimed his varied influences (50 Cent, Eminem, Biggie, Kurt) and poured out his emotions in confessional lyrics fit for a therapist's chair. Beyond the drugs and debauchery, a pain and honesty usually reserved for the raw emotion of indie rock seeped through the Auto-Tune. A pair of singles released in 2015 ("Parachutes" and "The Line") continued his sound evolution, smoothing the harder edges out in a style more reminiscent of the Weeknd, Miguel, or Drake. His Youthanasia EP arrived in 2016. The next year, Dior released the singles "No More Tears" and "Sober." ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Related Artists

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.