Rising star Astrokidjay releases his triumphant new single “Hell & Back.” Listen HERE via LISTEN TO THE KIDS/Geffen Records. Born in Tanzania and raised in Toronto, the 21-year-old has quickly made a name for himself as one of the most singular acts in music, able to blend hip-hop, R&B, and Afrobeats while maintaining a point of view that is irrefutably his own.
Over Rayny and Evrgrn’s punishing drums, Astrokidjay takes stock of how far he’s come—and marvels at the fact there was a time he doubted whether he’d make it. “Been to hell and back a thousand times,” he recalls during the chorus. “At the time I gave up on myself, what was I even thinking?” “Hell & Back” shows off both the finesse and force that make Astrokidjay one of the most adaptive vocalists of this moment, able to cut through any beat or float on top of it.
“Hell & Back” comes in the wake of Rose Out the Mud, the mixtape from earlier this year that made a point to show off both the gentler and more menacing sides of his music. Last month, Astrokidjay followed that tape, and the acclaim it received, with the slinking “Hunnid Dayz,” which speaks to the new position he’s found himself in within the industry.
Astrokidjay began making music in earnest after he was kicked out of his family’s home in 2019. The early demos—recorded in a friend’s closet—had a sound so otherworldly that they gave him his stage name. In the brief period since, he’s made an undeniable case for himself as an unmissable cornerstone of genre-melding music in the 2020s.