Photo: Anna Gulbrandsen.
A couple weeks ago, Rhymesayers Entertainment held their seventh annual Soundset Festival in Shakopee, MPLS. Selling out with 30,000 people in attendance, this year’s event was easily the most-successful to date. Just as we do every 365, the DopeHouse made the trek across the country to take in the festivities and once again left completely satisfied. We also took the time and spoke with a few artists and will be sharing those quick conversations with you over the course of the next few weeks. We kicked things off with Mike the Martyr, followed up with Psymun, and now it’s time for Jonwayne.
At the bottom of Los Angeles’ deepest rabbit holes is Jonwayne. The Stones Throw rapper-producer brings a grim intensity on either side of the boards; last year’s Rap Album One is as notable for its technical precision as for its left-of-center humor. His set at the Fifth Element stage was perhaps the day’s best—Jon took an afternoon crowd biding their time for the bigger names and left jaws agape and Instagram feeds clogged.
Have you been playing much in America this year?
Not at all. I did a tour with [Peanut Butter] Wolf and J. Rocc and Knxwledge for like, two weeks, but my main focus has been overseas. I was just there for about two months; I played the UK, France, Belgium, Spain, everywhere.
What are you working on musically? I know Quelle Chris said he was going to link up with you.
I’m experimenting right now. I’ve got a couple records in the bag but I don’t know if they’ll ever come out. I’m trying to figure out what my next move is; creatively, I could go anywhere right now.
What’s exciting you right now?
Just honesty. I’m enabling myself to be completely honest with me and with people who listen to my music, and that’s really, sometimes, the only redeeming quality that I can find in all this—just being able to be brutally honest. Whatever I do, whatever happens, that’s always going to remain a constant. [Rap Album One] was my mission statement for my life at that point in time.
Who are you looking forward to working with?
Brothers. None of this name shit—I don’t give a fuck about anybody…if we vibe one something, I don’t care who you are, we’re going to work. I’m not trying to reach out to anybody right now. If someone wants to work with me, fine. But I’m done chasing anybody. I probably make better beats than you; if we want to work on something where the sum is greater than us, fantastic. Bust as for looking for it, being thirsty? No. I’m not into that.
PREVIOUS: Jonwayne – Third Abandoned Planet