When SL Jones first cracked our rotation with The Number 23 mixtape, his sound was a tad more mainstream. But, as the Grind Time Rap Gang-affiliate’s vision progressed over the next year or so with projects like Flight Risk, his country roots began to substantiate his output and the Little Rock rapper sounded more natural than ever. His latest mixtape only furthers the transition, as Jonesy teams with southern staple DJ Burn One for their joint project Paraphernalia.
Smothered in 808 drums and wailing guitar licks, this highly-anticipated release from these two Atlanta transplants finds Jones delivering more of the street smarts and hood remorse he’s becoming known for, via the interchangeable delivery that makes him so versatile. Whether he’s chopping up speedy rhymes of crack on “Dope Man” or serenading fiends on the addictive “Per Say,” SL prescribes listeners with different doses of the same trap-oriented formula throughout this extremely cohesive project. However, it might be the Freddie Gibbs-assisted “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.” that best embodies the entire tape. Coasting over Burn One’s assaulting snares and chopped-up vocal samples of 8Ball, Jones goes back & fourth between flows to detail how he survived section 8 surroundings and plans on making easy money from here on out, no matter the cost.
So, even though Paraphernalia might not cater to the radio, it’s the speakers of those folks wanting to learn the intricacies of staying durable that will appreciate this tape the most. Then, once enough listeners realize SL Jones has all the makings of a star, the tried and true formula he’s already perfected will be what everyone else is looking to latch on to.