Xpression aka Xpression The MC (born Juan Carlos Fajardo Jr. on 9/19/92) is a rapper, designer, and author from Indio, California—home of the iconic Coachella Valley Music Festival. While his early music interests had theological roots in and out of Bible study, he routinely explores the darker side of lyricism in the modern day, having earned nicknames such as “The Mexican Eminem” and the “Hannibal Lecter of Hip-Hop.” This formative dichotomy is instrumental to his sound, style, image, and message.
After garnering the attention of Ruthless Records co-founder Jerry Heller in 2016, Xpression connected with Grammy-nominated producer Ronnie King; just before Heller’s passing at the age of 75. This pivotal moment led to the creation of “What You Want” (Ft. Mellow Man Ace) and “To The Top” (Ft. Kxng Crooked), with additional production by Bebo Beats, one of Xpression’s childhood friends and frequent collaborators. Other key tracks followed, including “Hiphop Ain’t Dead,” “Every Life Matters,” “Enigma,” “Eyes Wide Shut” (Ft. Chino XL), “187” (Ft. Cassidy), and many more. For his efforts, X was voted the “Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist” at the 8th Annual Coachella Valley Music Awards.
Beyond the booth, X has proven to be a multifaceted artist and public figure, endeavoring in the worlds of fashion, activism, and podcasting. His Kryptic Reign Music label doubles as a clothing line and launched ‘Kryptic Kult Radio’ in 2021. He also hosts monthly workshops and seminars via social media—boasting Instagram and TikTok followings of over 150K and 230K, respectively—and in-person at Expressive Arts & Psychotherapy of the Desert, alongside his mother, Dr. Angelica Guajardo.
While fresh singles, projects, and collaborations have been at the forefront of Xpression’s music career, these undertakings have not necessarily remained the focus. A key example comes in the form of his preeminent 2019 studio album, The Write Path, and its accompanying informational journal, published in June 2020. The Write Path to Creative Self-Xpression is equal parts poetic musing, therapeutic exercise, and socratic dialogue between a maternal figure and her son. Co-written by Guajardo, these unique passages aspire to inspire anyone with a heart for creativity and self-reflection. In line with this altruistic pursuit, Xpression completed his certification as an official hip-hop therapy specialist in August 2021.
The Write Path II is soon to follow.
Bio by Ace Woe
An inspirational journal that invites and invokes the creative mind and spirit through the lens of Hiphop Poetry and Expressive Arts Therapy.
The Write Path to Creative Self-Xpression is for anyone wishing to unleash his/her creative voice. This working manual is a collaboration of two passions: Hip Hop and the Expressive Arts. In this collection of poetry and lyrics, Xpression takes readers on a lyrical journey of his trials and triumphs on his quest to fulfill his dream to be a Hip Hop artist and loving father and husband. Through metaphors, similes, and raw story-telling, Xpression broaches themes of life, death, and the search for meaning. Along for the lyrical journey is Angelica Guajardo, Expressive Arts Psychotherapist, who provides provocative questions and Expressive Arts activities that will promote self-reflection and inspire creative thinking and wellness This mother-and-son collaborative effort is a labor of love and a celebration of the magic that happens when passion, dedication, and sacrifice, meet. "Xpression's lyrics move you in a way that few rappers do. He is what a true lyricist is all about, and adds freshness to this generation's M.C.'s." ---Atron Gregory, CEO: TNT Recordings, Solo Piano Group,Former Manager of Rap Icon: Tupac Shakur, Digital UndergroundRoad Manager of N.W.A., Tour manager for Ruthless artists
An apocalyptic piano intro and outro. The hook is haunting in the fullest sounding track thus far. The instrumentation and orchestration are of prime production. The Bronx-born Chino XL shows why Rick Rubin signed him to his American Recordings label in the mid 90’s. - Noe Gutierrez
(Coachella Valley Weekly)
Peter Dante, the actor best known for Grandma’s Boy and every Adam Sandler movie, is, clearly, a big fan of Indio. How much of a fan? Well, he has teamed up with Xpression the MC to record an entire music video about it.
Dante is a bit of a local legend in the Coachella Valley and can be seen out and about quite a bit.The video was shot around Indio at spots like the 76 station on Indio Boulevard, the Tamale Festival, Arriola’s Tortilleria (mmmm…nachos), Bob’s Twin Kitchen, and just about everywhere else in the city. Hell, even Yellow Mart makes an appearance.
As for the lyrics, well, you definitely know they’re in Indio….
They’re in Indio. - Cactus Hugs
By Noe Gutierrez
There’s no hiding from it. The Write Path is the high-profile “features” album of all “features” albums. The new maxed out record from Coachella Valley native Xpressionspotlights some of the biggest names in Rap and Hip-Hop today. It’s a hit list of artists that Xpression does not shy away from by adding his signature cadence and rhythmic lyrical compositions. Bolstered by the assistance and participation of other desert natives, Ronnie King and Ckeelay, Juan Carlos Fajardo, Jr. is shot out of a cannon and has infinitely made his mark with this highly ambitious and completed piece of art.
Fajardo has steadily remained open about the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges he has experienced in his life, that is witness to the openness, love and encouragement he has from his family, who are towers of strength within the community in which he lives.
It’s go big or go home for Xpression. He holds his own here and possesses the thickest set of musical armor in the performances of all his guest artists. The armor is not meant to protect him, but to display a show of force.
Producers on the album include Bebo Beats, Ronnie King, Di Muro, Karmic Basis, Cutty Dre, Anthony Flores, Yoey Composes, Rikanatti and Dj Third Degree. The Write Path was mixed and mastered by Rikanatti and recorded by Anthony
Below is the Coachella Valley Weekly album review:
1. Lilith (feat. Bizzy Bone)
“In the beginning…”. A great first track. In a way, a Book of Genesis for the album. “Lil’ Ripsta’s” rapid fire lyrics form the nucleus of the energy from the intro track. Bizzy Boneis the youngest member of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and is faultless here. Xpressionfollows suit nicely by advancing the supersonic baton.
2. Art of the Flow (feat. Demetrius, King Los & Kéta)
Symphonic piano intro and melody. More speedy lyrical deliveries from the featured artists. A head bobbing tempo. Kéta’s fetching vocals oblige the dramatic pace and tone of the tune.
3. Lockdown (feat. Locksmith & Julius)
More of a fear-based tempo that is reminiscent of an 80’s horror soundtrack. The rap content from Locksmith, Julius and Xpression is a progression of slow burn. “If they try to fuck with us, they better watch out, got the rap game on lockdown, if anybody crosses my path they getting shot down”.
4. 187 (feat. Cassidy & Jag)
Slower tempo. Emphasized on this track are Philly rapper Cassidy and West Coast artist Jag. Murder here is lyrical in nature. The beat and keyboard melody complement each other G-funk era style.
5. Purple Juice (feat. Don Michael Jr. & Demetrius)
The fourth “Popular Track” on the album according to iTunes is this hard hitter. Xpression’s flow shines here. The rap game requires thick skin and this song reinforces the need to heed that it’s a tough ladder to climb.
6. Hiphop Ain’t Dead (feat. Cyhi The Prynce & Kxng Crooked)
LBC Slaughterhouse member Kxng Crooked & Cyhi The Prynce impress that they are alive and well. The song has meaning, feeling and soul. In 2006 Nas said that Hip Hop Is Dead. Xpression stomps out the notion with his killer verse.
7. Bullshit (feat. M.R.G , M.C. Infinite, Ckeelay)
The song will be popular in dance clubs with that intro. Ckeelay has a syncopated delivery that is easily recognized. That nonsensical and untrue talk can be misleading and deceptive. The bullshit is best left behind.
8. Eyes Wide Shut (feat. Chino XL)
An apocalyptic piano intro and outro. The hook is haunting in the fullest sounding track thus far. The instrumentation and orchestration are of prime production. The Bronx-born Chino XL shows why Rick Rubin signed him to his American Recordings label in the mid 90’s.
9. Enigma (feat. The Grouch)
The first track featuring The Grouch. He reels off, “I want to live love…tell me how we get to be a big enigma…look what we did to us…how we gonna fix up everything we mixed up?” As individuals we can be puzzling to understand.
10. Social Network (feat. M.R.G. & Kid Vishis)
M.R.G.’s two of three tracks he’s featured on. Laid back tempo a la the “gangsta lean” where you’re driving holding the wheel while leaning to your right bobbing your head to the bumpin’ beat. The song describes the perils of social media and the false realities that can be mistakenly relied upon.
11. Bad Bitch (feat. Bizarre & Castro Escobar)
Detroit export Bizarre, youngster Castro Escobar and Expression extol the tales of waking up in the morning next to an independent and confident woman, tongue-in-cheek of course.
12. What You Want (feat. Mellow Man Ace)
The Mentirosa rapper Mellow Man Ace is featured here. A driving track with lower octave grand piano courtesy of producer Ronnie King. Xpression should expect heavy rotation for this song up in da clubs.
13. To the Top (feat. Kxng Crooked)
#2 for Kxng Crooked. Similar to the way this album was approached, Xpression reaches for the sky and accomplished that here. “We going straight to the top”.
14. Keep it going (feat. Millie Millz)
Another inspirational song that encourages self-improvement. Millie Millz talks about making moves and paying dues. Keep it going has that Urban contemporary feel defined by R&B and Soul. A song with real broad crossover appeal if Xpression decides to release as a single.
15. Stay You (feat. Catalyst Bars, Joe Lewis, Millie Millz)
That reminder that we all need to be ourselves in anything we do and with anyone we encounter. We must stay true and be willing to learn.
16. Every Life Matters (feat. R.G. & Blvk Dmnd)
The song starts off with the sounds of a scene all too familiar on the streets across America, sirens and outcries of harassment and police brutality. Xpression uses his platform to share the message to stop the violence all the way around.
17. Sacrifices (feat. Zion I & Vasti Gabriella)
A joyful beat and uplifting synth part. Oakland-based Zion I aka Zumbi and Xpression talk about what they have given up in order to advance themselves and build a legacy their younger generations can emulate. The singing from desert beauty queen Vasti Gabriellais the cherry on top.
18. Still Need You (feat. The Grouch & TRQS)
TRQS provides that 90’s vocal vibe that’s sensual and soothing. Oakland artist and founding member of The Living Legends, The Grouch, is humble in his delivery of a vocal that feels like a conversation with his lost loved one. Xpression follows with his own ode to family who have passed on.
19. The Write Path (feat. Athena Reign & John Fajardo)
With the adorable voice of his daughter presenting the title track, The Write Path is a synopsis of his challenges backed by a piano run that sounds very familiar. His father breaks it down in prayer, so that “JC” is reminded that there is a Higher Power at work and that it is absolute.
20. Mom Outro (feat. Angelica Guajardo)
The supportive and positive words from his mother will resonate with any person doing their best to make their parents proud. Mom unequivocally shows why Xpression has no reluctance in “expressing” himself.
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