Last week it was revealed that Jennifer Lee, the indie hip-hop/trip-hop artist who goes by the name TOKiMONSTA, had a severe cerebral disease and in 2015 underwent surgery to save her life. The main side effect was something most music lovers would shudder to think about: she couldn’t speak or comprehend music for months and had to undergo extensive brain rehabilitation in order to regain the use of these faculties. To those of us for whom music is a passion, the idea of having this most primal of human connectors removed from one’s life is heartbreaking and unimaginable.
Now healthy and making music again, TOKiMONSTA’s forthcoming album, Lune Rouge, and her extensive U.S. tour (which starts this week) seem that much more impressive after what she’s faced. Bassrush is lucky enough to host TOKiMONSTA in Los Angeles at the Wiltern on Friday, September 22. To get ready for what promises to be an inspiring show, we asked TOKiMONSTA for a list of tracks that inspire her. She did us one better by not only supplying a great playlist but letting us in on why she loves some of these classic tracks. From Khalid to Korless and Toro y Moi, it’s clear TOKiMONSTA loves her chill vibes, and that’s why we love her. So, without further ado, check out the TOKiMONSTA playlist and we’ll see what other inspiration she has at the show!
Motor City Drum Ensemble “Raw Cuts #3”
“This song has good movement and a thorough vibe all the way through. It’s more of a journey than a barrage of big hooks and verses.”
“This song is the perfect balance of chill and loving.”
Nosaj Thing ft. Kazu Makino “How We Do”
“Nosaj Thing took a turn into the deep for this one. There is this beautiful space that allows to song breathe.”
Isaiah Rashad “Menthol”
“Isaiah Rashad actually sampled one of my older songs for this song. It gave my melodies a rawness that (they) didn’t have before.”
“This is an oldie but a goodie; one of my favorite songs to listen to help empty my mind.”