Hailing from the cold city of Baguio, Dustin Calde, a.k.a. Just Washington, is a rapper signed under PUSHTRAK. An up-and-coming artist that’s best categorized for his vibey music while still falling under the genre of hip-hop, Just Washington represents a new breed of hip-hop artists that reflects the signs of the times and the struggles the youth are dealing with today.
Instead of trafficking in rapid-fire cadence, drug-addled flows, and bro-trap platitudes (although he does have the capacity to spit fast), he approaches his music with a certain raw vulnerability. He twists his bars with his own hooks and talks about struggles only the young can talk about. Cold and ruthless are not words to describe his music.
Instead: easily listenable with just the right amount of confidence. Just Washington is pop rap, which is definitely not a bad thing. Both of his past projects (2016’s Olympus and this year’s joint tape with J. Blaze, Gaddamn!) are both music that’s for easy listening. “I just want to be my sound to be super relatable and for people to dance to it,” he says when asked what he wants his listeners to feel when listening to his music. ” I don’t want to be too slow that it’s depressing. I want [my music to have the] right amount of everything.”
We asked Just Washington to give us playlist for the weekend, which, for him, is for slacking off, and quality time with his mom. “Saturday, I usually go out with my friends But for me what I look forward to is my mom on Sundays. I live with her. I don’t spend a lot of time with her during the week because I have class and meetings and everything.”
De La Soul – “I Am I Be”
“I am I be” by De La Soul is my go to song when driving because of the storytelling and the entertaining up-beat funk. Its very nostalgic and it takes you away a bit to how it used to sound.
Pryde – “Whiskey Interlude”
He’s been one of my main influences for a while now because of how creative his vocals are together with his verses. I’m a big fan of all of his work and this is just what’s been stuck in my head recently.
Prometheus Brown & Bambu (The Bar) – “Lookin’ Up”
One of my favorite tracks of all time. This shows how kids from the Philippines are raised in the states and even if its in the other side of the world there are still similarities. Plus how Prometheus Brown sneaked in Ilocano words into his verses. Genius.
Chance the Rapper – “Prom Night”
I love how he talks about being a teenager and how it looks like everyone is against you but it didn’t matter.
Skizzy Mars ft. Marc E. Bassy – “Do You There”
Its a typical young and reckless vibe and it brings me back to being home in Baguio, meeting up with old friends and away from stress for a bit.
Kanye West – “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”
First track of Kanye my older brother let me listen to and I just fell in love with it. The first line of Sierra Leone sent chills down my spine. I remember my kuya used to burn CD’s with this track on every one of them in case we go out of town or something because I just had to hear it.
Listen to Just Washington’s music here:
Just Washington is releasing a full-length album before the end of the year.
Photos by Blacc Smidt