Talent is best partnered with inner character and proper direction. The modern age of carbon copy has weighed on the hiphop culture for way too long. It is to the point where the sound of the music has become more important than the meaning of the music. As if the instruments are worth more than the composition itself. But when you come across an artist who speaks from within with no regards for fitting in, the missing piece is placed for the world to experience.
LA resident and St. Louis born rapper Jordan Ward recently released his debut project entitled APATS (A Peak at the Summit), which is weirdly close to the title of his last single “Tapas”. Nonetheless, the EP is 5-tracks of melodic voyages through Jordan’s life, and adds an artistic touch that’s relatable and consistent. APATS opens up with the featured video “LaLaLand” (above), which takes you through the struggles of living in LA as not just an artist, but merely as an individual.
Swear I just need one mo’ day. My homies need no more babies. And ima need way more checks. Cuz my momma need no mo’ stress. Poppin no-doz I rest. Never really enough I guess. Because-I-know-niggas-sleepin’-on-me. Right place, right time, I’m tryna find where both those things might be.- “LaLaLand”
Following “LaLaLand” is my personal favorite track off the project entitled “nissanVersacoupe”. Mainly because I also spend a lot of thinking time in the car with a little smoke. But also, the placement of ‘nissanVersacoupe” within the album is perfect because it follows the promotional single with the most lyrically diverse song on the project. Jordan does a great job with showing off his ability to spit a little sumsum, even though his natural prose is a little more eccentric.
“Passingtime” and “Consolation” are more accurate renditions of his proposed style. Jordan touches on accounts of new love and broken tales throughout the core of APATS. The personal deliverance that speaks on the industry he has seen touring as a choreographer, blends nicely with the vocal abilities he possesses as an emcee. The authenticity of the project is a vivid recollection of times-passed, and connected well with those who have pondered similar situations.
I hate to be the butt of a joke. Butt of a cigarette. Butt of a ho. What is ya name? Prolly gon forget. Far as I know. Reason I came, is prolly get some neck. Now I gotta go. The sun is bouta, opposite of set. And I aint like the rest of these 20-somethings. Faking like they all running something… Under covers when sun is up. Checks man, I gotta run and duck. Mortgage payment is coming up. And I still aint done enough. We having fun too much.- “Seedalight”
On Both Sides
Artist Wise– While a little too short and sweet, APATS does a few things correctly. For one, it focuses on Jordan’s key points and shows the direction in which he will grow in. Secondly, it is consistent with the image he holds, and steers away from the “double cup” and “pill popping” aspect that hiphop has leeched on to. And lastly, consciousness of this project turned out to be a definitive statement from a young and budding artist.
Production Wise– The production value created by RU AREYOU, Shine, and Kojo set the stage perfectly for Jordan to express himself in detail. Each track held its own weight and were selected in a niche direction that worked wonders. I do feel as if the beats were missing a taste of traditional hiphop structure and sound, but that was minor in comparison to the creative pulse these guys have brought to life.