Jonwayne Has One of the Best Rap Albums of the Year
By: Max Bell
Courtesy Stones Throw
On the back patio of his parents' large La Habra Heights home, Jonwayne dwarfs the plush lounge chair he sits in. He recently moved there in an effort to save money while touring. The 23-year-old white MC's official debut album, Rap Album 1, dropped last month on Stones Throw. The cover is nothing but a saltine; he's basically calling himself a cracker.
His rhymes, however, are certainly more substantial than that carb-heavy snack.
"I'm in love with the words themselves and trying to construct something as eloquently, yet as brash as possible," he says in his deep, sonorous voice.
His brown Labrador by his side, the bespectacled, longhaired, bearded rapper is barefoot, sporting a black T-shirt and red basketball shorts, an outfit not unlike those he wears onstage. In conversation, he chooses his words carefully, talking about his predilection for naps (he recently put out a mixtape that promotes the activity), as well as his attempt to get sponsored by the company that makes his preferred sandals--Jonwayne's feet are too wide for closed-toe shoes.
Formerly an electronic musician affiliated with Alpha Pup, he has made a transition in the past two years. "It's not so simple . . . doing something completely different," he says. "You have to build your career all over again."
He adds, "It's hard for me to gain ground in the music industry because of my attitude and my inability to compromise."
That may be, but it's this mentality that has garnered so many converts to his work. Rap Album 1 is, in the opinion of this critic, one of the best rap albums of 2013 and will no doubt bring more fans and followers.