Ajani Jones & Boathouse • ONE PUNCH
Built on anime and other pop-culture references, ONE PUNCH is still rooted in Ajani Jones’ mindfulness of his real-life surroundings. With the help of producer Boathouse, this EP provides a space for the Southside representative to let loose without sacrificing his technical ability nor his pointed lyricism.
The mentions of One Punch Man, Yu-Gi-Oh! And Futurama enriches the listening experience, but Jones still confronts head-on the realities of his neighborhood, struggles, and the grind behind his dreams. In “Native Sun” he asks “Who gon' tell the truth when the truth don't mean profit,” and it’s clear to see that he’s aiming to fill a more transcendental role than those contemporaries who revel in fake IG beefs and viral videos.
The EP delves deeper into Jones’ unmistakable synergy with Boathouse, who previously contributed two tracks on his debut EP Cocoons and produced all five records here. The instrumentals are spirited and belligerent, often going to places you wouldn’t expect them to. This could easily overwhelm a less capable MC, but Jones strives in this situation, bouncing-off-the-wall in the likes of “Futurama” and “Apex.”
Closing off an exclusive Closed Sessions affair, label-mate Kewku Collins appears in the last track with his own stellar verse that includes that line “I do and don't believe in God and everyone I've come across.”
The independent label is only getting stronger and it’ll be fun following their forthcoming releases, especially with Jones’ proper album Dragonfly slated to drop later this year. In the meantime hit play on ONE PUNCH above.