SAINt JHN: Experimental Rap on the Rise

Saint JHNPhoto Credit: Adam Amengual

Since coming on the music scene in 2010 Carlos St. John, otherwise known as, Saint Jhn has strove for greatness. Not always knowing where to go or what to look for, the rapper followed his path to music and is now beginning to see the payoff. Born in Brooklyn, New York on August 26, 1986, Carlos St. John grew up being exposed to his Guyanese heritage. Growing up was difficult for St. John as a young man who eventually turned to the streets. However, Carlos was inspired by his brother’s rapping skills as a young kid, which ultimately shifted his focus on music.

This interest followed him in his teen years when he finally wrote his first song in high school. Carlos’ joined the group Godd Complexx along with other local members. The Brooklyn-based group included Saint Jhn, Clint’n Lord, Mike Geez, Mr. Pyrex T, and Kyle the Hooligan. Godd Complexx released two tracks. On “Dope Dealer,” the members reflect on the impact of drugs in their life. The second track “Ay Caramba” is an ego-boosting song about having money, women, and luxuries.

Carlos emerged as a solo musician when he released his first EP in December 2010. On his debut EP, In Association, the artist boasts about his rise to fame. The following month, Saint Jhn released The St. John Portfolio which had 14-tracks. Drawing from popular hip-hop songs, the rapper talked about his time as a celebrity. Many of the tracks represent Saint Jhn’s sense of identity and self worth.


Shortly afterward the artist flew out to Los Angeles to help write music for Rihanna. While none of the songs where used, Saint Jhn eventually connected with Hoodie Allen during his time there. For the next couple years, the rapper wrote songs for Jidenna, Kiesza, Gorgon City, and several other artists. In 2016 Saint Jhn received accolades for writing “Crash” and “Rivals” on Usher’s Hard 2 Love album.

Saint Jhn released his first studio album, Collection One on March 30, 2018. The project was In the works for a long time. In fact, the rapper released the first single off of the album called “1999” in June of 2016 on Soundcloud. “Roses” gained a lot of attention as fans enjoyed listening to Saint Jhn rap about his life and experiences with love. The song “Reflex” is a smooth, trap song that got fans even more excited about the artist. “I Head You Got Too Litt Last Night” was the fourth single from the album and eventually became the defining song of the project.

On August 22, 2019, Saint Jhn dropped Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs. Long time partner Fallen produced most of the tracks on the album to have a collection of songs that work and flow easily together. Many of the songs play off of his experiences with love and sex. “Wedding Day” and “I Can Fvcking Tell” both play off of love, but from different viewpoints. “Anything Can Happen” and “5 Thousand Singles” reflects Saint Jhn’s love of the genre of trap music. Saint Jhn’s biggest musical opportunity so far has been working with Beyoncé on the hit song “Brown Skin Girl”. For the artist, the song represents the love that he has for women across the globe.

Saint Jhn is living out his dreams and desires through his love of music. The artist is passionate and intense about what he does without shying away from uncomfortable or what may be considered as unconventional topics. As he gains more time in the spotlight and takes control of his creative freedom, fans will be able to see the continual genre bending of Saint Jhn and listeners will be sure to hear much more experimental rap songs from the artist in the future.

Written By: Carlton Rolle

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