That’s right, Rap Album Two is officially here: It’s the fresh follow-up to LA rapper-producer Jonwayne’s debut EP from 2013, Rap Album One. To breakthrough all the fuzz and static of the modern music culture is tough enough, but in this second drop, fans can hear the artist grappling with the demons of celebrity, success and booze.
His new project comes in the wake of a period of isolation, coming to terms with the very thing that he has given his life to – the music. Most people assume that fame and bright lights means you’ve made it, so your concerns and personal struggles melt away now that you’re getting paid doing what you love. But for an existential and authentic lyricist like Jonwayne, this experience brought forth the conflicts that motivated him to express himself through music in the first place.
As he told The Guardian, “The two things that are most important on the record are the feelings of apathy and loneliness – and at the same time, the angst or frustration we feel toward the rest of the world because we feel like we’re being misunderstood.”
In his heroic return from the abyss, Rap Album Two takes you inside the process of recovery and finding the light hidden in the darkness of being. In his work, he takes listeners through the most difficult questions and experiences of mortality, minus the false braggadocio so dearly coveted in popular rap and hip-hop. In a typewritten letter posted on social media, he puts it all out there for all those getting excited about the new release:
“I promptly removed myself from the community and went into exile,” Jonwayne wrote. “I became sober and began to make healthy choices with the help of family. I, for once, put myself before my ambition and it made for a bittersweet reality. In the process I alienated friends and allies. Opportunities and security slipped through my fingers. Bridges were burned. Momentum screeched to a halt. I was scared. All which I’ve spent my entire adult life building seemingly came crashing down on me.”
True artists give everything they are to their craft, and it’s clear this album isn’t about money, bitches, cars and drugs – it’s about healing the fractures of the human condition. Nonetheless, the beats and flows will keep heads bouncing. Give a listen to standout tracks like “Afraid of Us” feat. Zeroh and “Out of Sight,” you’ll know what I mean.