2023 has been an eventful year for rising R&B artist Jordan Ward. After starting the year on tour in support of JID and Smino, the St. Louis native dropped his debut album FORWARD, a fun yet introspective collection of jams that quickly became one of this year’s standout projects. Songs like “WHITE CROCS” and “FAMJAM4000” quickly gained popularity on TikTok and other platforms, even getting co-signs from the likes of Tyler the Creator and SZA throughout the summer. This fall, Ward will join 6LACK for a portion of his “Since I Have A Lover Tour” after releasing the newly-announced deluxe album titled moreward on August 25. In the midst of Ward’s ascension, he has given us “MUSTARD,” a reflective meditation on ambition, experience, and time.
While it seems like Ward is just getting started, he has been in the game for years. “MUSTARD” acts as a recap of his career thus far, discussing his life in Los Angeles for the past decade. The track’s scarce guitar and drum instrumental allows Ward’s high-pitched lyrics to take center stage as he navigates topics of youth, change, drugs and more. The song has a refreshing and memorable hook reminiscent of many tracks on FORWARD, with memorable lines like “Held it down for ten summers like Mustard” and “Condos bury memories of my teens.” These words make way for 6LACK himself to take over with a notable guest verse, further discussing ideas of change, rebirth, and staying grounded. The two make for a beautiful duo, exemplified best by the song’s piano-based post chorus that features both vocalists. The “I need some bands on standby” cadence is a catchy way to end the track as well, tying together themes of LA heat and ambition with peace and reflection.
“MUSTARD” once again displays Ward’s ability to craft meaningful and personal tracks with fun and upbeat sonics, and the rest of moreward should be no different. As he continues his breakout year, Jordan Ward has proven himself as a must-know name in today’s R&B game.