Meet Justin Loans -- known to his mother as Justin Flores, and to the Internet as one-half of smooth-rapping Oakland goofballs RnB Millionaires. The Millionaires churned out a handful of tracks from their West Oakland lab in recent years, but nothing with any serious shelf life. They've been working hard, though; Justin Loans' first solo effort, the How To Fake It In America EP, is out today.
This marks the first official release from the flock of professional roving partiers known as Trill Team 6 -- if you've "expressed yourself" in the warehouses of West Oakland or haunted some of SOMA's underground rap clubs, you might have heard of 'em. The loosely associated group of DJs and their cohorts (which includes Oakland hip-hop mainstay Willie Maze) has contentedly spent the last few years throwing parties like Sick Sad World and rallying friends and family to get fucked up together. Flores' work takes this ethos and runs in a whole new direction.
How To Fake It in America has more confidence than anything J. Loans has ever produced before -- he's snug in his own skin and developing his newfound voice. We might even call him Baby Face Killah if Freddie Gibbs hadn't coined it already. The EP shines with production by fellow Millionaire Jay Casio, and it's obvious he knows Flores well. In his verses Flores combines a golden era hip-hop cadence with modern club influence for tracks that are classy, genuine, and beg repeat listens.