Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, JRS3 is the eldest of 7 siblings. At age seven his parents got divorced. From kindergarten through to the 4th grade he was dragged around various neighborhoods in Fort Worth, Texas, while in his 5th Grade year he went to school in Palestine, Texas and stayed with his father. Finally, from the 6th grade through to the 12th grade, he lived with his mother in Irving, Texas. Successively JRS3 attended college for 3 years before realizing it was something he didn’t want to do. Hence it comes as no surprise that the Oklahoma-born artist has a heightened consciousness towards helping others, awareness, fear of God and politics, all themes treated in his latest single “Shutdown”.
“Shutdown” is most profound at its most angry. It’s draped in an ominous, gray cloud of sonic energy, an overcast atmosphere that seemingly exemplifies Trump’s America at its bleakest hour. This isn’t a hopeful tone, the recording is about America as it is, not as it could be.
Geographically speaking, JRS3 raps like he’s standing on every street corner in the city, reporting live from the scene like an eyewitness news team. “Shutdown” works as sharp commentary because it balances JRS3’s personal perception with daily insight into what the ‘commander-in-chief’ is perpetrating.
This is artistry that is soulful, honest, contemplative, all the while being entertaining. People should listen because this artist uses his music to discuss the true experience of the racial diaspora as opposed to western civilization’s propaganda and straight lies.
His revolutionary rhetoric on “Shutdown” probably hits too close to home for too many people, so you’ll never hear this on the radio. The track is a tribute to JRS3’s brazen attitude. It embodies his fearless style and is a testament to protest, the principles of which code the artist’s music and mind right now.
Living in financial distress is one of the most difficult things anybody will ever do, and that single hardship combined with every other aspect of a disadvantaged lifestyle is plenty enough to break just about any person. It is with those thoughts in mind that JRS3 affronts the thematic implications of “Shutdown”.
This is by far JRS3’s most thematic work, and I don’t just mean lyrically. Tension and anger are common motifs, made vivid by driving orchestration. In times like these passivity is not admissible; the power of music has so much potential to communicate, and positively incite change. JRS3 has harnessed that power in “Shutdown”.
One of the loudest critiques of our generation is that a general apathy has infected our entire world-view. In the face of inequality and questionable leadership, we have grown complacent in lives characterized by materialism, caring little about the notion of affecting change.
Music, once a tool for artists to voice discontent and raw ideals, has devolved into a medium where entertainers espouse the virtues of sex, cars, drugs…and bling. Luckily we still have a handful of artists, such as JRS3 who are not afraid to point an accusatory finger where it is currently needed most.