The latest interview to be published from the book’s research work is with Jonwayne. In fact the interview was conducted technically as a standard promo chat for his debut on Stones Throw, Rap Album One, but really I used that as an excuse to just speak with him as I’d missed him while in L.A earlier this year.
As such this interview is among the lengthiest so far, and not really an extract as it’s pretty much all of it bar a few things I’ve kept behind for the book. It touches on many of the subjects that are central to the book such as Myspace, the duality of Jon’s work as a producer and MC and the importance of what happened in LA at the end of the 00s.
Like the Soulection guys before, this interview is also more about the generation that came up out of the beats explosion of the late 00s. Jon is very much someone who is born of that movement as an artist, even if as the interview shows he draws much further into a lineage of rappers and producers from the decades that preceeded him.
In addition to the feature, I also reviewed his Stones Throw album in a mini-essay format that touches on many of the book’s ideas.
It’s kind of a weird thing for me. I made beats before I started rapping, but I never saw it as something I’d do seriously, I always thought that I was taking the rapping stuff more seriously. I started going to Low End Theory and that’s when I began to realise the depth to hip hop production and the forays into electronic music. Once I saw myself within that context I started… around 2009… I started really opening my eyes to the possibilities and where exactly I fit in all that. Basically I let the rap stuff take a back seat while I figured that out. I almost did the Michael Jordan shit, you know? He wasn’t very good at jump shots or shooting so he actually practiced until he’d made what were weaknesses his strong suits. My beats weren’t very good so I approached it the same. I sat down, worked on it, figuring it out. So I was focusing more on that side of things. Which led to the album with Alpha Pup. Basically I wanted to see where it would take me, as an alternative to rap. It was a different experience and I really enjoyed it.
In terms of one having more importance than the other, I always wanted to present myself as someone who does both equally. When you’re growing and learning it’s hard to establish that. In that sense this record is the first thing I’ve done which I feel is really pushing forward this ideal.