For an artist, coming of age stories told through music can be a therapeutic way to channel past traumas, introspective and personal thoughts relating to their past and present situation, as well as a way to bring the right energy for the future. London-based rapper Jords knows this all too well, as his music has always navigated a contemplative, self-reflecting space that has been oftentimes inspiring to watch. Almost An Adult is his brand new album, a stellar follow-up to his debut 2016 release Means To An Ends. To say his new project is ambitious might be an understatement. Back in April he release a short film of the same name that features a few of the singles off this new project. It was a stunning visual achievement directed by Curtis Essel & Nwabugo. The film, as Jords himself described it, was the “truest representation of me as an artist and as a man. This represents the journey that I had to take on the way to becoming a man.” Dedicated to the memory of a few important people in Jords’ life, it features subtle but poignant symbolism and imagery to do with growth and evolution of spirit. It’s one of the better videos I’ve seen from an UK-based artist in a very long time. You can watch the video below in its entirety.
I’m here to talk about the album though, and what an incredible body of work it is! Having listened to Jords’ music for a couple of years now, I know perfectly well what he’s capable of musically, and it’s juts inspiring to see him compile all of this in a concise, well structured 10-track album. The album starts off with “My City,” a soulful and reflective opener about his life growing up in London, with a melodic hook and a boom-bap inspired instrumental. The tone of the album throughout more heavy and menacing to more melodic and soulful. “Patterned” featuring Dotty features a heavy, trap-inspired beat and lyrics boasting about how their success will help provide for their respected families. The confident, assuring verses from both talented emcees makes for a captivating listen, while Jords’ incredible delivery and flow on “Brothers” makes it one of the best tracks on the album for me. For the most part however, Jords’ melodic, almost sung delivery over colourful, groovy tracks like “Dangerous” and “Swing” are incredible. The jazzy production on tracks like “Mrs Chambers Kitchen 2” and “Rose Tinted Glasses” featuring Jaz Karis are gorgeous and even ethereal. The former track is beautifully reflective yet sad track about struggles with identity, loss and growing up as a black man in the UK. Lyrics like “I’ve gone from being on the stage, to putting Grandma in a grave / Sleeping good sleeps, to nights laying awake / In the darkness I bleed, in the light it’s all okay / Wear my heart on my sleeve and I leave it on the page” give us an insight towards some of the things he has been going through recently. His grandma, who was tributed in his short film, played an important role in shaping who he is today, and the connection he had with her is truly inspiring. His ability to convey his feelings in a relatable and poetic manner is what makes this album such an incredible listening experience. “Halos” featuring Thea Gajic is another heartfelt track about loss and grief, though Jords channels his feelings in such a beautiful, inspiring and often inspiring manner. “So It Go” featuring Kida Kudz is a groovy, introspective track with an infectious rhythm, but the standout record is “You’re Welcome.” To start a track with “This is the kind of verse to send a shiver down your spine” and continue rhyming in the way he did? Wheeeew. And that those beat switch ups throughout are incredible too. Rebelling against the system around him, self-growth and love around him, it’s the perfect ending to a fascinating and musically fulfilling album, encompassing all the themes of the album in one punchy and incredibly textured track.
With Almost An Adult, Jords has established himself as a true visionary. From his incredible short film highlighting themes of love, loss, personal growth and the black experience to a textured, self-reflecting and poetic album, the talented London-based rapper did not put his foot on the breaks one bit. The funny thing about the title to me is that it suggests that Jords hasn’t reached true adulthood due to the ongoing personal struggles he has had to deal with, that’s at least how I view it. But by the end of the album he sounds rejuvenated, even reborn as a man ready to tackle the next journey ahead of him. His growth throughout the album is what makes it such a fantastic listen and I hope he continues to strive for greatness because this is already a massive step in the right direction. Respect!
Listen to the Jords’ incredible Almost An Adult below and don’t forget to support!