mynameisntjmack is about to be the next big thing, proving that hard work and dedication does pay off. His debut album, THE LORDS OF SOUNDS AND LESSER THINGS, not only displays incredible talent, but unparalleled creativity and poise from the 24 year old as he takes us down the ever winding path to where he is today through a unique lens: “This body of work is a retelling, based within the trials and tribulations of Janie Crawford; the central focus of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God,” mynameisntjmack said on his inspiration. “These are my struggles with stability, identity, and desire. This is how forces of nature, and self, translate into my reality. Thank you for listening.”
An excerpt from Hurston introduces us to one of the major themes of the album: living life by going through the motions. Eloquent strings from Johan Lenox creates a perfect intro, giving off the feel that you are about to enter an illustrative saga – suffice to say it lives up to this expectation. mynameisntjmack wastes no time jumping into the ensuing nine tracks, confessing his reliance on women and substances to suppress his depression on “TUCKER.” He showcases a variety of flows and styles over a piano led instrumental, opting to begin with a mellower taste before he embarks on a journey to understanding his convoluted world.
The first step of this comes on “THEMOONLANDINGWASFAKE” featuring KADOLEAF. mynameisntjmack grapples with existential thoughts as he begins to put a major focus on his music, exploring another layer to not just his story, but his rapping style in the process, displaying a rawer tone. His openness leads directly into “DOVE$BLEED,” the beginning stages of understanding that he needs to change, but lacking the direction to do so, rapping, “Mental state is garbage, all this trash I talk / If anybody out there, come and save me.” With perhaps my favorite production on any track, Lim0 brings out emphatic sections of horns that deliver a nostalgic feel before Johan Lenox returns for an interlude. A retelling of Hurston is heard once again, delivering a message about the prospective evil from people that don’t believe in you and protecting your energy.
mymaneisntjmack continues expanding this theme on “NODEVELOPMENT,” starting the song by rapping, “Tryna level up the branding, artistic presence / Despite the drugs, my intelligence could never ever be questioned.” He goes on to deliver his most poetic bars of the album over a perfect extension of the classical ambience that Lenox left behind. This flawlessly leads directly into the lead single, “NEWBRASSKNUCKLES.” Speaking on the track, mynameisntjmack said on Genius, “The journey of life gets rough. Some people fake smile to get through it, but like gold fronts or grills those deteriorate over time. I’ve fumbled a lot of bags and gone through some real shit, but I am faced with the unexplainable urge to keep pushing forward. That’s what 'NEWBRASSKNUCKLES' is, that feeling of action to keep fighting.”
A stark shift on “CONTACT” featuring Dre Wave$ sees mynameisntjmack emerge with a new, confident attitude, reflected directly in his rawest sound yet. He carries this tone into the final track with Tommy Richman, “SELFAWARE/2020.” Behind mystical production from Lenox and Stoic, mynameisntjmack tackles all of the major topics he has discussed throughout the album: self consciousness, mental health, trauma, faith in the Church, money, and substance abuse.
The outro sees Hurston be left behind, this time pairing Lenox with what sounds like an old radio recording. After vulnerably opening himself to the world, mynameisntjmack can now sit down on the porch and look out at the starry night, prepared to go down the path that will lead him to where he is today. THE LORDS OF SOUNDS AND LESSER THINGS is one of the most phenomenal bodies of work I have heard all year, and one that is setting the stage for an illustrious career to come.