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Jonwayne Concert Review AB Brussels • 20.01.2014

A lot has been written about Jonwayne in the last nine months, including on this same website. A young and promising self-produced rapper exhibiting wittiness beyond belief through oneliners (seriously, you’d get a Twitter account just to follow him), but not shy of spitting out rhymes too deep to catch their drift the first time around. Sounds about right.

After three cassettes and a certain ‘Rap Album One’ on the glorious Stones Throw Records, one might say the guy already had little left to proof. Especially after winning ‘Album of the Year’ at the Word Wide Awards last weekend. That event also marked Jonwayne’s first ever European appearance. Despite being a relatively new name in the game, the Brussels show had been sold out for a week. On what’s scientifically proven to be the calendar year’s most depressing day, no less.

Lefto was largely responsible for this succes, avidly promoting Jonwayne in the last few months. He warmed up the crowd with a decent set, albeit lacking some hardcore records to set a mood for the headline show. Lefto is a very eclectic performer, in the spirit of Gilles Peterson. Jonwayne may have a place in this mix of genres (by integrating Korean pop songs in his samples, just to name one thing), but essentially it’s pure rap. He avoided a harsh contrast by simply continuing the warm-up show himself. “Stick with me” he said awkwardly while performing a rather simple sampler-set. Let’s not forget he’s still a producer and beat maker in the first place.

He didn’t exactly go nuts on his SP-404, but as soon as a certain James Brown -we think- sample kicked in, the crowd in a full AB Club went for it. Forty five minutes of mostly ‘Cassette 3′ and ‘Rap Album One’ ensued, relentless from start to finish. Jonwayne doesn’t fuck around, he just lets the attitude flow from him. At first though, all the bars, hooks and breaks were exact copies of his recorded material.

This artist seemingly still needs to get in a comfort zone, but five tracks into the set there were no more doubts left. Jonwayne is as good a live performer as you can expect, pushing his own rhytm and flows to even speedier levels when the Scoop DeVille feature was logically skipped during ‘The Come Up’ and a few tracks got abruptly killed by the man himself. Only to be quickly followed by more Jonwayne illness. One short interlude -Breaking Bad, anyone?- proved sufficient to keep everything tight enough. Crowd favorite ‘Marion Morrison’ finally sealed the deal.

Jonwayne is your go-to guy this year. Do not doubt it.

- by mp-h for Skylinereviews.com

POSTED ON 01|30|2014 by cpf

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