What is Topaz Jones up to?
Evan Dale // April 5, 2018
It’s fair to say that Topaz Jones has perhaps been inaccurately portrayed as a strictly fun-loving, summery pop rapper thanks to the explosive success of his 2016 single, Tropicana. But he is much more than that. What certainly has not been an inaccuracy is the way with which Tropicana and subsequently Topaz Jones have been met with acclaim for his unique and sparking approach to music.
His range is vast, walking the tightrope like so many, between hip-hop and R&B. And yet, he has carved out space to be completely unlike anyone else. His fondness to extend the end of lines into a melodic sung performance is uncanny and the thing that perhaps makes him most approachable to listeners who tend to exist outside of hip-hop’s realm. His penmanship is poetic and timelessly unpredictable, leaving his listeners on the edge of their seats through each and every release. And though his music has a tendency to deliver in ways bubblier and warmer than many rappers, he is far from being a simple pop artist, soft R&B vocalist, or corny rapper. He is instead, a lyrical dynamo with a silky-smooth side that pumps sex and positivity into his music, drawing to him a wide audience difficult to attain for a hip-hop artist often telling serious, personal stories.
His string of 2018 releases, which have come as six tracks neatly wrapped into three two-track duos, prove all of his underrated prowess, and point to the likelihood of a full-length project in the works. Toothache/Zoom, Nectar/Pleasure Pain Passion, and Cotton Fields/For The Better are not simply three impressive and innovative expressions of his music and his growth since the release of his 2016 debut album, Arcade, but are also six individual tracks that provide a glimpse into his bold experimentation across modern music’s breadth.
The way that he has paired off his songs into miniature projects has certainly been done with purpose. Each pair seems to have found a set of complimentary opposites, who although are undoubtedly connected by the undertone of their creator, are boldly different in their stylistic approaches.
Toothache is a warm, funky, good feelings kind of hip-hop song whose fast-paced lyricism drives its positive vibes, while Zoom is a more low-fidelity and dark take on modern movements fond of the blending of vocal and rap elements.
Nectar is a lyrically-motivated track on a mission whose socially-conscious undertone delivers on Topaz’s more serious endeavors, while Pleasure Pain Passion is a romantic and sex-driven slow-jam that competes with the best of them.
Cotton Fields is a classic rap hit from its production to its flow that classifies Topaz as a top-tier rapper in his own right, while For The Better is more reminiscent of the heavy production, electronic experimentation, and vocal masking so dominant on the current scene thanks to artists like Travis Scott.
Through all of the indefinable, intriguing experimentation and stylistic risks, it’s difficult to know what Topaz Jones is really up to, but the ferocity and talent with which he attacks each track in a way so different from the previous, has earned him a hell of a lot of intrigue and a new, well-deserved reputation that extends far deeper than just Tropicana.
Be on the lookout because Topaz Jones is shaking it up, and raising the bar for multi-dimensional hip-hop artists.