In the rap game, SoundCloud has grown to a point where it simply cannot not be ignored anymore. Employing a wildly aggressive and blown-out aesthetic, the flag-bearers of the genre are soaring through the streaming ranks and are putting out substantial numbers that propel them past even major label acts. In fact as major labels are being led to shell out million-dollar deals in an attempt to cash in on “SoundCloud Rap” which is leading the rapidly morphing landscape of modern rap. Yet despite all the success, in 2019 the question remains: Is SoundCloud rap a passing fad or just the start of something much larger?
One artist who is not wasting time pondering the question, but rather working towards building his own fanbase on SoundCloud, is the Placerville, California artist Jared Myers, better known as Jakson – a songwriter, engineer, and sometimes producer.
Myers has dropped two tracks on the legendary platform, entitled “Light One Up” [Prod. by Black Mayo] and “It’s Okay” featuring Eye Sea [Prod. by Guala Beatz x Darkboy Beatz]. SoundCloud rap was built with an emphasis on abandon over structure, and rawness over dexterity. It wasn’t the polished pop-friendly affair that major labels usually dished out.
Jakson places himself neatly in between the SoundCloud rap craze and the mainstream. He retains an earthy rawness in his raps, while his beats are structured and polished. Jakson sounds just as good rapping over the chill Black Mayo beat as he does through the wavy Guala Beatz x Darkboy Beatz soundscape.
For all the seemingly obvious similarities, “Light One Up” and “It’s Okay” couldn’t be more different; the former has the traditional swag and rhyme pattern of the city, while the other is soaked in clever vocal sorcery it’s surprising it has not hit the radio yet.
With these releases, newcomer Jakson, shows that he has the charisma and internet savvy to build up his brand and beyond, making all his sounds work for him. He has an ear for light and wistful melodies, as well as a flow that can handle sweet aggressiveness, demonstrating his ability to craft efficient records that revel in their simplicity.
Most SoundCloud rappers seem to have voices exclusively born to be contorted by vocal effects. Jakson is not one of them. He is able to work with, or without them. The real joy of a song like “It’s Okay”, is how Jakson’s voice melds into the beat, regardless of the effects. It’s not just the technicalities, but it’s the overall groove and mood on the song that’s worth succumbing yourself to.
Pretty much the same applies to the darker “Light One Up”, where Jakson forges his undeniable penchant for fully pronouncing his words, along with a contagious urgency in his flow. This makes the song catchy without losing any edge. All-in-all, both these releases demonstrate that Jakson has multiple gears, and can create any type of song easily, scooping up attention along the way.