Arian Jones: “I Am King” – A liberating listen!

Arian Jones (formerly Hennessy Jones), is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Arian began his career in the city’s hip hop scene in 2010 with...

Arian Jones (formerly Hennessy Jones), is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Arian began his career in the city’s hip hop scene in 2010 with the Hip Hop group Heroes & Terrorists. He signed a record deal with Pittsburgh-based indie label Tribe Eternal Music Group in 2011. Arian was featured on various group projects and singles from 2011-2016 before releasing his debut album, ‘Enter The Mind’, in 2017. Arian Jones has now released Part One of his follow up to Enter the Mind, entitled “I Am King”. This will be followed by the Second Part in April, to be called, “The Introverted Extrovert”.

In an era of here today, gone tomorrow emcees – both literally and metaphorically – the hip-hop community has somehow maintained its backbone with a handful of consistent emcees. Beneath the surface of the endless wave of buzzy trap-rappers lies a wave of old-school revivalists and veterans alike. And perhaps the underground hip-hop community’s finest moments in recent months come from rappers like Arian Jones.

Jones is a true artist in every sense of the word. He has grown consistently since his previous releases and never half steps when it comes to the craft of writing. He is an inspiring lyricist and a wordsmith that belongs in the top tier of any hip hop head’s pantheon.

The majority of the production on entitled “I Am King” consists of loose, lounge-jazz innards, spaced-out and pumped up, breeding with Jones’ smooth, tongue-in-cheek flow for a significant hip-hop release. And Jones arrives stronger than ever, with his typical, ultra-aware observations.

The fact is, the bulk of production for this EP would be a brilliant collection of instrumentals on its own – Arian Jones just takes it up a few notches. This is extremely apparent on the opening, and title track, “I Am King (Intro)”.

A rich, energetic, yet mellow track that offers a serious sense of diversity. It results in a liberating listen, offering up a taste of what once was and what is yet to come in the genre. This track sets the tone for an EP that probably revealed as much to Jones as it does to listeners.

“Live Your Truth” is a stream of consciousness that finds Jones describing the things he’s learned over the years as he proposes for change. He raps over a beat that’s stripped-down and atmospheric, making the song an embodiment of the thinking sessions that keep people up at night.

On “Born In 1990”, Jones has the confidence of a gladiator when it comes to his rhymes, driving his point home: “I’m a 1990’s baby that’s why I rap like this!” There’s no shortage of wordplay on the recording and the more of it you catch, the more you’ll enjoy this EP.

Adrian Jones’ awareness comes to the fore on “Smile”, as he delivers some serious lessons steeped in social, cultural and political discussion. Jones is one of the most underrated underground lyricists out there. He doesn’t get enough of the recognition that he rightfully deserves.

And when he joins up with Mike Lux and Pharoah Lum, on “All On Me”, they bring a total earworm to bear – packed with tight rhymes, an insane beat, and a highly repeatable melodic hook.

 And when Jones closes the EP with the slow burner, “I Am King (outro)”,  it’s clear to anyone who has been listening closely that even in a rapidly crowding profession, Adrian Jones is one of the best in the underground game; any thinking observer of hip-hop will tell you as much. Maybe he still has a lot to accomplish to get where is aiming to go, but “I Am King” shows that he has the music and talent to achieve it all.

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