A bloke I’ve only just recently stumbled upon is Jon Phonics, an MC and producer from London. I just need to make sure you’re not sleeping on this one as I have for too long.
It started with a beat album he made and I found: Jonathan’s Beats & Pieces. There’s something incredibly gratifying about a beat album that is just right up my alley, and it’s all for free, too!
And as I feverishly kept searching for more, I came onto his Half Past Calm producer album which features some of Britain’s finest, mostly his fellow Londoners and YNR label mates who all put in serious work and make this album a real gem. YNR (Young and Restless) is Jehst’s own imprint, which should clear up any questions you may have. Take my word for it, YNR is stamp and seal for dopeness. If in doubt, peep the tracklist and take an earful.
1. State Of Hip Hop feat. Melanin 9 & Prophet
2. Remember feat. T- Bear, Sir Smurf Lil’ & Zulu Rebel
3. Nothing Wrong feat. Mr Drastick & Luc Skyz
4. The Lions Den feat. Cyrus Malachi
5. Black Tragedy feat. Phoenix, iVerse & Prophet
6. More Forward (Ill Rhythmikz Remix) feat. T-Bear
7. Alternate Take feat. Verb T & Fliptrix
8. Lost Planet feat. Melanin 9
9. In The Ends feat. Sir Smurf Lil’
10. Forbidden Chamber feat. 9 Planets
11. Jealousy’s A Bitch feat. Verb T & Mr. Drastick
12. Celebrate feat. T-Bear
And just now, only days ago, the man’s dropped his eagerly awaited follow-up to this beast. And for some reason I’m not even surprised to find that this is even better than the first. The beats have my head bobbing and weaving and the lyrical handicraft spread over them is top-notch verbal tapestry. (Yes, I’m officially on Jon’s sack now.) ;)
02. Raw Ingredients feat. Cyrus Malachi & Jehst
03. Buried Below The Ground feat. Micall Parknsun
04. Pump feat. Fliptrix, Sonnyjim, Ramson Badbonez & Verb T
05. Spirit Of The Golden Sun feat. 9 Planets
06. Phonetically Obba feat. Obba Supa & Evil Ed
07. Tug The Rope feat. Melanin 9
08. Wrong Way feat. Prophet
09. The Other Guy feat. Kosyne
10. I See You feat. Kal Sereousz
11. Dark Days feat. Fliptrix & Jam Baxter
12. Mind Over Matter feat. Verb T & Kashmere
13. Rabbit Jab feat. Masikah
14. Road Rage feat. Nasheron & Melanin 9 of Triple Darkness
15. Changes feat. T-Bear & Yasine
Most of Jon’s discography can be got for free from his Bandcamp site, in case my links don’t do it for you.
And while you’re there, he has a bit more that you should probably think about buying for cheap.
Do show some support for the man.