- 20 Nov 20
A triumphant, genre-defying debut from Nigerian Jamaican Irish rapper.
JYellowL’s debut album feels very timely. The rapper has been on a steady rise in 2020, and – with the end of a supremely turbulent year in sight – its release now will further burnish his growing reputation.
Since he started his career, JYellowL has seen it as an integral part of his mission to support those who are marginalised, in Ireland and beyond, through his music. Already highly politically motivated, it was no surprise that he was at the forefront of Ireland’s Black Lives Matter movement, as one of the main organisers of the initial protest that rocked the streets of Dublin, in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now comes 2020 D|Vision, which showcases JYellowL’s considerable talents as a wordsmith and a rapper.
2020 D|Vision cuts deep, and consistently hits the mark. This is smart, politically-minded hip-hop, its ideals driven by the current wave of social-reforming zeal that is sweeping across the globe.
On album standout (and early single) ‘Doesn’t Feel Like’, JYellowL asks, "How do we remove a racist?” The accompanying riff is in a deceptively smooth R&B style. There are musings on the meaning of home, comfort, and safety in ‘CHANGE’, where J pens a heartfelt, afrobeat anthem, proclaiming that “change comes from the inside.” He is plainspoken and brutally honest on album closer 'Tunnel Vision', leaving his listeners hungry for more.
His razor-sharp flow is present across the 14 tracks on 2020 D|Vision. But it's at its smartest on ‘Quote Unquote’, wherein he raps at breakneck pace and carries it off brilliantly.
That's the final push on what is a marathon of an album, one that is the culmination of years of study, contemplation, grassroots activism and musical growth. 2020 D|Vision is a triumphant debut for the young rapper – a powerful statement that signals J's coming-of-age as one of Ireland’s most important MCs – and one who has the depth and gravitas to take on the world.
Watch the JYellowL 2020 D|Vision launch party here.
• 2020 D|Vision is out now.