Nostalgia is a dangerous force in hip hop. No matter the discourse, there is always a strong voice bemoaning the lost “Golden Age of Hip Hop,” when artists were still first exploring all the possibilities of the new genre and the “industry” had not yet corrupted the art form. While indubitably there was incredible music made in that era, lost in this argument are the limitations of that time. When artists sold cassettes out of the back of their car, the music could only spread so far.
In today’s super-saturated hip hop landscape, LA artist Jonwayne is balancing the strands that initially brought him to hip hop with an obsessive commitment to remaining in artistic motion. In the last 3 years, he has grown from another voice in the vibrant but crowded Second Beat movement of LA to an important piece of the illustrious Stones Throw Records label, alongside legends like Madlib and MF DOOM. He talks with Erasing Boundaries about balancing past and future, production and lyricism, and