June 13, 2013

artworks-000050432936-9dt83x-originalJonah Bromwich wants to see the dirt.

Is there room for Jonwayne?

That’s the question he’s asking himself, as the ghost of his better self flagellates him for oversleeping, for looking like a buffoon, for not being grateful, for not being all he can be. It’s an exceedingly well-written single, channeling the stress of the working artist into a subtly dazzling work of art. And there’s a reason that the lyrics are provided below the track on Wayne’s Soundcloud page: he wants you to see how good he’s getting. He wants, “to push [himself] to the surface like lava in a volcanic growl.”

Jonwayne is more visible than ever this year, both as beatmaker and as a rapper, and it has me wondering whether he can make the leap. The Madvillain influence is strong with the young’uns these days, and ‘Wayne is in a brother camp; but he’s also a white bearded barbarian who you wouldn’t even want to make a pop song. He’s the kind of figure who sometimes seems destined to be rare, a collector’s favorite, a touchstone for those in the scene. But scenes are liquid these days, and there might just be enough people in love with this sound to launch the Wayniac to the place he’s trying to go.

Though it isn’t such a terrible fate to be a rapper’s rapper, it seems that’s what he’s striving against. Songs like “Notes to Myself” might just push him over the edge. When you can make a Dilla-imbued piece of soul that’s so personal, and yet so appealing to anyone who creates for a living, you’ve figured out something that not many others have.

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