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JoeJas – Four Wing Island [Stream]


Photo Credit:  Constance Lythe Thomson

Photo Credit: Constance Lythe Thomson

JoeJas has neatly packaged his usual quirkiness into his third album ‘Four Wing Island’. Following up on the lead singles released earlier this year, ‘Sally’s Heartbreak Picnic’ and ‘DropTopTikes’, JoeJas shows the multiplicity of his distinct sound. The talented rapper knows exactly when to speed his flow up or down to fit the pockets of the tracks. But ‘Four Wing Island’ didn’t emerge overnight, JoeJas worked tirelessly to write, record and produce this body of work.

This 9-track album varies widely both stylistically and in terms of tone. JoeJas demonstrates his boundless lyrical range with tracks that delve into hopeless romance and finding comfort in solitude. The four wings nestled under the leaves of the palm tree on the album cover feels an ode to the rapper’s South London roots. He raps, “It’s the four wing killer, from the South of the River”, one of many quirky quips on ‘4wingkilla’.

JoeJas combines short, high energy beats and descriptive verses to set the scene and form vivid imagery. He constantly blends simple and complex rhyme patterns into hooks that dance around the mind like a daydream. In ‘S*E*S*H*’, he takes listeners on a ride,  

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One foot on the ground, know we pushing, two trucks on the ground with the bushings, four wheels rolling round in my hoodie, if the sun back the sesh, then you know we all goodie

‘Four Wing Island’ is a breath of fresh air because JoeJas refuses to conform to the conventional rap persona. He makes this statement from the offset with familiar keys, chords and drums dip into a grungy guitar-led break on the opening track, ‘Four Wing Isle’. As a kid who grew up on Odd Future’s fanatical tapes and rebellious front, I hear those musical influences loud and clear. Ofwgkta, including Tyler, Earl, Syd and the rest, revelled in their idiosyncrasies, creating their own lanes that would eventually pave the way for artists like JoeJas to fully express their creativity.

With the beat on ‘S*E*S*H*’ reminiscent of The Boy Is Mine’s synthesized harp line and the grooviness of ‘Venture?’, sonically, it is difficult to pin the album down. But this move was intentional. Inside the slip of the physical album cover, JoeJas writes, “I really wanted every song to be different and its own thing, I guess that’s the island bit of it, haha.” Emotionally, ‘Four Wing Island’ starts and ends on a high, oscillating between sombre moods and an undying passion. It is a unique album that captures the essence of alt hip-hop, bold, expressive and unapologetic.

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