Top listeners:

skip_previous skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    HYFIN Connecting The Culture

  • play_arrow

    Rhythm Lab Radio Redefining the Urban Sound

  • play_arrow

    Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody

HYFIN Verified

H31R challenges conventions, creates art that resonates deeply

todayMarch 8, 2024

share close

This month’s HYFIN Verified features an all-women line-up for Women’s History Month, and we’re thrilled to spotlight the enigmatic and boundary-pushing electronic hip-hop duo H31R (pronounced heir/air). Composed of New Jersey producer/composer JWords and Brooklyn rapper/vocalist maassai, H31R blends their unique worlds to create a singular sonic experience that defies genre conventions.

JWords and maassai both grew up immersed in music, with maassai coming from a family of jazz musicians and hip-hop artists, and JWords discovering her passion for production in high school. Their journeys led them to a fateful meeting at a show in 2017, where they instantly connected over their shared love of pushing the boundaries of genre and sound. “We felt like we were from the same universe or like soul tribe,” JWords reminisces about their first encounter.

In our exclusive interview, JWords and maassai delve into their artistic journey, the serendipitous moment they met at a show in 2017, and how their collaboration has evolved. “We felt like we were from the same universe or like soul tribe,” JWords reminisces about their first encounter. From then on, the duo began crafting their distinctive sound, merging elements of hip-hop, electronic music, jazz, juke, Jersey club, and boom bap.

Their debut album, ‘ve·loc·i·ty’, released in 2020, was a tour de force of innovation and experimentation. Maassai reflects on the album’s release, saying, “We knew that there was nothing else like it. …we didn’t have things to compare it to really. And so we were on to something really innovative and unique.” Critics took notice, with outlets like Pitchfork, The Wire, Brooklyn Vegan, Okayplayer, and Bandcamp praising the duo’s groundbreaking sound.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided an unexpected opportunity for H31R to focus on their sophomore album, ‘HeadSpace’. “It helped us get a lot of work done, honestly. Like actually finish the album and sit down because we both were performing so much,” JWords explains. The result is a kaleidoscopic journey through sound and emotion, featuring introspective tracks like “Static” and “Reflection,” as well as collaborations with rising stars like Semiratruth and Quelle Chris.

When asked about their Mount Rushmore of inspirational women artists, maassai cites bell hooks, Lauryn Hill, Solange, and Esperanza Spalding. At the same time, JWords mentions Georgia Anne Muldrow, Erykah Badu, Esperanza Spalding, and Chick Corea. These influential figures have shaped H31R’s artistic vision and continue to inspire them to push the envelope in their creative pursuits. “I think that I was raised liking things and gravitating towards things, not only musically but just in general, like the way that I wanted to live my life was outside the norm,” maassai explains.

H31R’s unwavering dedication to their craft, their fearless approach to genre-bending, and their uncompromising artistic vision make them a true inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere, regardless of gender. As they continue to blaze trails and break down barriers, H31R is a powerful reminder of the incredible things that can happen when women come together to create something truly extraordinary. Keep an eye on this groundbreaking duo as they continue redefining what’s possible in hip hop and electronic music.


Written by: Element Everest-Blanks

Rate it

Who we are

HYFIN is a media movement from Radio Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s only Urban Alternative radio station features the full spectrum of Black music beyond R&B and Hip-Hop plus Milwaukee music. HYFIN connects the culture with the latest Black culture news, podcasts and more. Listen to best hip hop & R&B, dance, Afrobeats and more!


Our radio is always online!
Listen now completely free!

Get your tickets now for just $10 in advance or $15 at the door and join us at 220 East Pittsburgh on May 10th.