The 24-year old MC from Capitol Hill has created a following for himself as he continues to push out content in the forms of music and visuals for his projects. Aside from his creativity, the name ANKHLEJOHN alone attracts listeners to want to know more.
“During high school, it came to a point where I started to find knowledge itself… I started to study ancient civilizations of my people. And I was very big on ancient Kemeticism, or ancient Egypt culture,” explained the MC. Originally going by Uncle John, he started to use wordplay and ancient Egyptian influences, and decided to make the switch to ANKHLEJOHN.
Signed to local record label Shaap Records, John is more than just an MC. He’s also a cinematographer and a film director. Fellow Shaap Records artist Rahiem Supreme has used John’s talents with the camera for some of his videos including Freaky Girls, Matter fact, but nah, and Primetime.
“His music really has a gritty sound to it, that’s what I like. It’s really gritty and organic. It’s really influential from the past 90’s boom bap era but it also has that DMV crank that they have that high, energetic, in your face movement,” explained hip-hop enthusiast and life coach Malcolm Wyche.
Some of John’s favorite rappers include Biggie Smalls, Nas, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killa and Roc Marciano. Despite being heavily influenced by New York rappers, ANKHLEJOHN said he’s D.C. all the way.
“I don’t want to really compare him to anybody… I really think that ANKHLEJOHN is complete as his own artist. I really think that he’s doing big things for the DMV culture, specifically D.C.,” said Wyche.
With tracks like “Rayful Edmond,” referencing one of D.C.’s biggest drug dealers of the 1980s, and “Georgia Ave” which is inspired by the busy main street in NW D.C., ANKHLEJOHN’s use of imagery and wordplay amongst gritty and grimy beats helps listeners to connect with D.C.
As the rising MC continues to produce momentum and content, don’t label him as just a D.C. rapper. “I’m a hip-hop artist. I’m from D.C., D.C. has made me what I am… but I don’t do it for the city I do this for me and hip-hop, and for my family and for the culture.”