Why Joyner Lucas Deserves More Credit than He Gets
“I made up my mind, I'm going out like Robin Williams/ I guess I'm not the Ordinary People of John Legend/ And I've been suicidal since the day I was nine (Lucas, Im sorry).” The powerful lyrics of rapper Joyner Lucas, highlight his friends struggles with suicide. Joyner hit some people by surprise this summer, by dropping 508-507-2209, his first album and second piece of work (Billboard). Therefore, this album is the reason I think he deserves more attention in Hip Hop than he already gets.
The album keeps Joyners style of storytelling music but has a street edge to it. The scenes and images that he portrays in his songs are extremely vivid, as if you were reading a book. The production of his music matches his music’s theme and tone perfectly. Joyner has been rapping since he was a child and has been releasing quality music for a few years, yet none of his projects have been as impacting as this. The album consists of so much detail, you can take apart each of his 16 tracks and study what they are all about. These tracks are also connected together by voicemails at the beginning and end of each one, which, although it may seem minor, it really helps put the whole project together as one piece of work.
“Glad you are the king to your own castle/ You handle life when it's thrown at you (Lucas, Winter Blues),” Joyner expresses his problems throughout the whole album, and here he is saying that people should man up and take handle their responsibilities. Joyner Lucas is very relatable with people who are struggling financially. Also in Winter Blues Joyner talks about a man that is struggling to get things necessary to live, and has no other way to make money except by selling drugs. He says in the song “I can't even count it all my fingers how much shi* that I lost”, here Joyner is trying to say that on top of not making enough money, he lost a lot of important things in his life. This is Joyners way of telling people that life is unjust to those who need help the most. Joyners most resonating and important lyric comes from his opening track Ultrasound. “I been living in the ghetto where the devils pray to God, ni**a (Lucas, Ultrasound),” this lyric has many levels of depth to it. First of all, Joyner is trying to say that the individuals living in the ghetto are “devils” and living in the ghetto is comparable to living in hell. I think that in more depth, Joyner is trying to say that the people who live in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods or sections are segregated from the rest of society, which makes the mainstream community look down on them and perceive them as devils. In the lyrics, he says that the devils are praying to “God.” The question posed here is, “Who is the God figure that they are praying to?”
Finally, Joyners 15th track, Im sorry is seen as his most impactful song and is the most played out of all the others. In the track he talks about a friend of his which committed suicide. What makes this song special is that Joyner uses “point of view duality” (Urella), which is basically singing or rapping in a song from two different points of view. This was first seen in Eminem's Stan and this song is where Joyner got his style from. Point of view duality is still something new in music, and hasn't had much of a breakthrough. In Im sorry Joyners starts in his own point of view, showing extreme anger and frustration, saying he literally wants to pull his friend “out of the caskett”. In the second part of the song Joyner talks in his friends point of view, giving us insight on his friends struggle with depression.
I think that this album by Joyner Lucas was perfectly executed. With a combination of fast paced beats and spine-chilling lyrics he grabs the attention of his listeners in every song. He follows his storytelling style throughout each song of the album, giving off important messages about struggles in life such as money, love, drugs, and being a criminal. I think that this album is definitely worth listening to, and it is the reason why I think that people should give Joyner Lucas more recognition.