Jonwayne Rap Album One

JonwayneRap Album One
MC Jonwayne first gained recognition through the groundbreaking Low End Theory nights in Los Angeles as a producer. Through a series of mixtapes and other releases, such as his Cassette series and the sinister piano-laced heat rock "Ode to Mortality"(curiously omitted here), he established himself as a capable MC. Jonwayne's flow is verbose, cerebral and free-associative by nature; toss in the gruff delivery, and the MF Doom comparisons are inevitable. Yet despite the obvious influence, he carves out his own identity on narrative tour de force "The Come Up, Pt. 2," which taps directly into his own personal life, and efforts like the suitably eerie "Black Magic." While Jonwayne's flow remains stubbornly uncompromising — sometimes to its detriment — his off-kilter and leftfield beats (ably assisted on a couple of tracks by Scoop DeVille) constantly surprise and engage, as on the jazzy experimentation of "Sandals." It's only when he applies his production tricks to his own voice on tracks like "Reflection" when things tend to go awry. But its this experimental bent that makes Rap Album One stand out, and deploying these skills judicially in the future will undoubtedly pay off on the evidence of this solid, eclectic debut. (Stones Throw/E1)