Rap Album Two‘s greatness can be divided into three basic parts: vocals, lyrics, and beats. First, Jon Wayne has vocal personality. The way he spits his rhymes comes off as if his voice is its own, separate entity. It flares, booms, builds, and even crackles just to exude all that Wayne has had to overcome to reach a point where his own skin was good enough for him. In this sense, Wayne becomes an odd, relatable figure. His voice is distinct and strong, but his lyrics are vulnerable and pensive. Although I find vulnerability and thoughtfulness signs of strength, in this world they can be considered weakening. Yet, Wayne has seen his weakest which is why Rap Album Two contains a firmer, more poignant vocality than its predecessor Rap Album One. You feel this is a man ready and willing to tell truths to the world and himself about being better as seen in songs, “Human Condition” and “Afraid of Us”, where Wayne analyzes the struggles to be accepted by the world and yourself at the same time. Such lyrical themes are my second appreciation for this album.
Lyrically, Wayne teeters between playful and personal. In “These Words Are Everything” Wayne’s flow is feels like a children’s game where kids need to hopscotch and pass a basketball to each other. There is a sense of fun and complexity to the track, of which his words are brilliantly rhymed to represent an “exorcism” of sorts. There are several times throughout Rap Album Two when Wayne’s style comes off like a self-purge. He is trying to shed irrationalities and mental murkiness to find focus and clarity like in “Paper” and “Rainbow”; where you can, literally, hear him discussing a desire to better himself and pay attention to his work/money. Yet, if I favor his vocals and lyrics its because I relish his beats. “Ted Talk” has a heavy bassline that feels like bricks are falling upon your heart. While “Blue Green Leaf” has a twinkled piano melody that is right for a song dedicated to his near-death experience. From delicate to devious, Jon Wayne is a producer that knows how to, rhythmically, get a emotions from his listeners. The beat patterns he fleshes through out songs such as “Out of Sight” and “Hills” blends hints of funk with Old School Hip Hop chords that reminded you how big and smooth this genre could be in instrumental production. I had almost forgotten that back in the day Hip Hop had a suave nature/notes that made you glide into a space and ignite it with either dance or a mindful haze of starry thoughts. Such is the effect of Jon Wayne’s Rap Album Two, which can be bought February 17 by Clicking Here.