With countless acclaimed guest appearances to his name, JuneLyfe has been steadily building his musical resume over the years while also running with the crews Cool Collective Reps, Retrospek and the Winners. And now the Roxbury, MA native steps out on his own with his long awaited debut solo LP, Lyfe or Def. As the man says himself, this is quite literally his life in the form of a raw, gritty hip-hop album full of sharp lyricism, hard-hitting production, and impressive musicality.
Those qualities can be tied back to his stomping grounds of Roxbury, where influential artists ranging from New Edition to Edo G. called home. And their influence on June’s music is firmly cemented as he carries the torch proudly for his neighborhood. “My environment in Roxbury—my childhood and so forth—has developed into a certain passion and attitude that I will always carry with me everywhere I go,” he explains.
His passion comes through when he’s gritting his teeth on the menacing “Doin’ The Most” with Planet Asia and Daniel Son, and when he’s showing his funkier side on “What It Look Like.” And then there’s the life-contemplating lead single “Rotation” with SPNDA, REKS, and Dua (of Bad Rabbids). The musicality of Lyfe or Def also bleeds through on the instrumental interludes that provide a strong sense of cohesion.
Everything about Lyfe or Def comes together on the album itself but also in the way that June talks about it. He’s frank in discussing the difficulties he overcame to figure out how he would represent himself as a solo artist, and he put in the work to define who he is as a person. “I had to live more, read more, be more empathetic, have more integrity, be a little more vulnerable,” he says. “All these things have helped in the manifestation of the growth presented on the record.”
Lyfe or Def is available now through all major DSPs Brick Records. To coincide with the release, June is sharing a new video for the standout track “Hide N Seek (Shango Mask),” a gritty burner produced by Crypto. Director Trill Is Bliss complements the borderline-chilling vibe perfectly with VHS-stylized visuals that, in 2019, prove that certain styles are simply timeless—like Lyfe or Def itself.