Recording artist John Anthony Ziegler was born in Columbus, Ohio. He later changed his stage name to BigJohn, and founded the production label BigJohn Entertainment that has been instrumental in his growth and exposure as an artist. ‘Different Den’ Ft. Too Clean is the artist’s latest single release and he shows no sign of slowing down or losing his touch. Something about this track feels spiritual, as the flow and the conscious wordplay allows the song to sound fresh yet old school. Hip-hop and rap nowadays are filled with rappers who rely solely on the hype and production of the track to keep the listener entranced. This is simply not the case for BigJohn, as he blends substance with style.
BigJohn is steadily carving out a place in his hip hop that plays to the great energy of the past while avoiding many of the tropes that can hurt artists. He delivers consistently strong rhymes on ‘Different Den’, as he and Too Clean investigate the sufferance from injustices, poverty and discrimination, in a hateful world. They take your hand and leads you through a minefield of social issues.
There’s an immediately gripping sound to the track as BigJohn brings an urgent tone out in his rhymes to keep the momentum on the track moving. He has a great way of expressing his views. He doesn’t need to put on an act or drench his delivery with bravado because he believes what he’s saying, and maybe you should too. BigJohn’s confident delivery infuses these words with a pride so unapologetic that you have to respect it.
BigJohn’s flow makes complicated sound easy, with a sense of cool that’s just timeless. The auditory aspect is rounded off by a pristine piano-driven production across the track. BigJohn is a conceptual mastermind. He has a flair for entrenching himself in a theme and crafting his songs in a way that immerses the listener into his headspace. Each project carries with it a different sound and lesson, but with the same lyrical prowess.
On ‘Different Den’ Ft. Too Clean, the wordsmith leaves no verse unconquered, weaving in and out of flows effortlessly. He makes music that comes across as if he’s inviting you into a deep conversation. BigJohn has proved to be a student of music and culture and continues to use his knowledge to help him evolve as an artist able to dig deeper with each project while still maintaining a modern and boundary pushing style.
The rapper’s sound has developed notably since his last release, as he refuses to settle in the heart of a one single style. This record is a definite step up for BigJohn. This is an emcee with serious chops, not just as one of the most potent and subtly charismatic rappers I’ve heard in some time, but also proving himself as a thoughtful but hard-hitting presence who is willing to experiment with poise and consideration.
Since the first time I heard him, I’ve always liked BigJohn as a rapper and as a presence behind the microphone. With ‘Different Den’ Ft. Too Clean, he has simply cemented my views. It also helps that his featured guest is on point too.