You Wanna Diss? Jonwayne Doesn't Care
Rapper/producer Jonwayne prefers his artists enigmatic. "It's like people feel the need to know the emcee as a person in order to get into the music, on some soap opera shit. Not saying it's good or bad, but it's almost as if having a baby would boost your sales more than improving your craft," the frequent Low End Theory artist says.
The La Habra 21-year-old toys with that notion on his latest, just-released rap mixtape, the very good I Don't Care, but only to a point: He might be opening the door, but admission's free. The mixtape's intensely personal lyrics seem to be more of an artistic exercise than a get-to-know-me mixer for Jonwayne, and he named it I Don't Care because that's his answer to the question, "Why give it out for free?"
Not a bad question--the material, which spans from '09 to a few months ago, features beats by Flying Lotus, Samiyam, and Dibiase. Most of the verses ("Outsider's Asylum" is the lone exception) were recorded in a single take. He also just dropped a free download last month (Thanks, Bro).
But selling this mixtape might be akin to selling his soul. Over a Flying Lotus beat that softly warbles and clicks like dusty boots taking ten paces, he raps, "They call me 'fat boy face, fat boy face'/They try to diss me 'cause I'm going by a cowboy name." That's light fare. The album ducks much deeper into the shadowy recesses of Jonwayne's mind, turning memories over to examine their dark underbellies.
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Reminiscent of another of L.A.'s mad beat scientists, Exile, Jonwayne contradicts starry-eyed samples that sound churned out of a phonograph with achingly painful lyrics in "Story One" and "Story Two," both of which he produced. "I couldn't name this mixtape anything else but I Don't Care. The lyrics have a lot to do with personal matters dealing with mental instability and emotional struggles. I can't be thinking about those things and tell myself I care. I'd go nuts. I just gotta record it, shake it off, and move on," he says.
But all work and no play makes Jon a dull boy. Using household items as drums, he and Zeroh recorded an instrumental in his parents' kitchen. The name of the resulting song? "Paprika."
Download "I Don't Care" here.
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