Blxst on where to catch a vibe in LA
Following the release of his new EP, ‘Just For Clarity 2’, the Grammy-nominated hip-hop star guides us through the highlights of his hometown – and that of our three West Coast Houses
Tuesday 14 March 2023 By Sagal Mohammed Photography by Feruza Afewerki
What makes a city feel like home are the little things you look forward to as soon as you touch down, says Grammy-nominated rapper and singer-songwriter Blxst, born Matthew Dean Burdette. Ever since the Los Angeles native gained acclaim for engineering a new era West Coast hip-hop, with the release of his debut EP, No Love Lost, in 2020, he’s been touring the world with headline shows everywhere from London and Paris to New York, Atlanta and most recently, performing at Soho House Austin for SXSW.
It has meant less time spent at home, in the city he loves [he was born and raised in South Central LA] and more importantly, his son. The sacrifices, however, have ‘all paid off’ he tells me during a visit to London’s 180 House, where he’s celebrating the end of the UK leg of his most recent European tour. In the past three years, Blxst has dropped three critically acclaimed projects – including his newly released EP, Just To Clarify 2, a follow-up to 2021’s Just To Clarify – a Grammy nomination, a top five ranking in the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, and received unanimous praise from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, who featured him on his masterpiece, Mr Morale & The Big Steppers.
‘I’m just getting started,’ he says now, although he’s been mastering his craft since high school, as a self-taught producer, singer-songwriter and rapper, who mixes, masters and self-edits his own music videos. ‘I taught myself everything on YouTube,’ he admits. ‘I’d look up Pharrell’s studio sessions and search things like “how to make beats”. It was around the same time I had moved out of LA, about an hour away, with my dad and I would just be on my computer all day because I didn’t have any friends in the area.’
Nic's On Beverly
Signed to Red Bull Records, Blxst has created a new blueprint for West Coast hip-hop by blending the old-school sounds that are synonymous with the region with his multifaceted talents. On Just To Clarify 2, he teams up with the likes of Roddy Ricch and fellow West Coast native, Larry June, as collaboration is a core value in his process. ‘I want to create a whole aesthetic with other artists or even build other artists up where I can – kind of like Timbaland and Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Those are the types of roles I want to play in music,’ he says.
Judging by his trajectory thus far, it’s all on the horizon. ‘I like taking the stairs instead of the elevator,’ he adds. ‘That way I can scale out what decision I want to make on every level of my success, because once you rush the rug can get pulled out from underneath you and you’ll have no foundation.’
Having firm foundations is something Blxst doesn’t undermine. In fact, he often reflects on his roots and credits the city that raised him as his main influence and inspiration. Here, he shares his highlights with a special guide to the places he eats, drinks and explores in LA – home to all three of our West Coast Houses.
The best breakfast spots
Met Her At A Bar
‘There’s a breakfast spot called Met Her At A Bar that I really like – I think that’s the dopest name and I love the French toast. It’s owned by a couple, and across the street from the restaurant there’s another place called Met Him At A Bar, which is a dinner spot.’
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
‘Breakfast-wise, Roscoe’s is the LA go-to. It’s famous for its chicken and waffles – you can’t visit LA and not go there, even if it’s just for the experience.’
The Coffee Company
‘I’m always flying out, so The Coffee Company near LAX is my breakfast spot.’
Best restaurants for dinner
Nic’s On Beverly
‘I love low-key spots where I can just hang out and enjoy some food. I don’t eat meat and Nic’s On Beverly has some great plant-based options.
The best bars
“I’m not the biggest bar person when I’m in LA because I like to just kick it at home, but I’d recommend a rooftop – like Soho House [West Hollywood or DTLA].’
Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel
‘The open-air Skybar on the rooftop of the hotel on Sunset Boulevard is a cool spot, too.’
Above: Met Her At A Bar
Best places to explore in LA
‘The shopping district in the heart of LA is a great place to shop, eat, drink and hang out when you’re in the city.’
El Segundo Youth Skate Park
‘I take my son to El Segundo Youth Skate Park, which is just outside of the city. It’s just a great place to chill and spend some time with him. We have some good memories there.’
Westfield Topanga mall
‘Topanga mall in Canoga Park is another cool shopping centre in the city that’s worth exploring if you’re new to LA.’
The best galleries
‘I really like The Broad museum; it’s free admission and they have some really cool rotating exhibitions.’
Browse our bedrooms and book a stay at Soho Warehouse in Downtown LA