By all accounts, Jonwayne doesn’t make sense.
We could dissect his life story with the cobbled bits of half-interested middle-grade media outlets, but then you wouldn’t be able to thumb the ring of his braggadocio mumbles, and frankly, like most people, his story’s pretty damn boring.
“Just admire me from afar (tap you with the) / I appreciate your love and support, but keep it movin’ ‘fore I ruin me for you”
Jonwayne came up on sideways expectations—white boy, neckbeard, nerd, whatever bullshit that’s been slung—and from day one he forced himself to rap between the contradictions.
“No measure when I take off the mask / keep my soul under grasp / the devil shoppin’ through the window / wish I was hangin’ with these lame-ass kiddos / it’s foggy through the grey goose and grey gas indo”
Jonwayne’s always been in the business of becoming himself.
“If it’s too late for a formal apology I accept / you think me less of what I am but maybe that’s a blessing / I just hope that I can spread my message / a to z”
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Jonwayne fights his irrational artistry, the paradox of creative labor, with a pristine jeweler’s hammer.
Jonwayne carves his marble beats from the inside out.
“Feels like I’m sinnin’ when I be seein’ the light / ‘cuz now I’m workin’ on this livin’ just to rap about life? / That’s some backwards commitment”
Rap’s in a weird place—depending on whom you talk to, the last year or so has either been the apex of introspective, lyrical, vulnerable hip-hop matched with huge strides in production and songwriting across all its genres, or it’s been a wash of half-assed and (let’s be real) unfinished albums peddled and spun as an upper-class (boo-hoo?) lo-fi resurgence of a genre that is, at its core, a punk art movement—and continues to be in 2017; without naming names, we’ve already seen a flattened-out “underground” no-features major release surrounded by dozens of, hey-o, questionable features doled out to pay the drug-addled bills, a release of ironic(?) poppy b-sides under the guise of a triple album which taps every genre but fails to shine in any of them, and a Disneyland release from one of the most influential groups of the last five years that’s sure to be bumped across middle school bedrooms, frat parties, and daytime talk shows (you can’t make this shit up) for months to come.
“Runnin’ a marathon, but with batons that get gone when you ask to pass it on / pass it on”
So Jonwayne raps himself into a hole where, dirty and dissatisfied, he looks down on you, even though his head is bent to the sky.
Jonwayne’s not a great rapper.
“I been a burden to my people and alienatin’ fans / just thinkin’ they would never understand / really it’s the wavelength bringin’ us together in the way”
If he’s to be believed, he’s probably not a great person.
“We had a drier in our hands and we missed the tub”
‘Rap Album Two’ is a struggle.
“Even in the casket, I’ll be one to close it”
So cheer him on.
What the fuck else is there to do?
‘Rap Album Two’ is out now via Authors Recording Company