James the Prophet gets ‘Up & Down’ autobiography


With his first album Unimaginable storms Released on Friday via Sony Music / Rupture, 20-year-old rapper James The Prophet today unveiled a final preview with a moving and autobiographical new single “Up and down. “Against a backdrop of richly colored beats blending jazz, soul, funk and old school hip hop, this new album is eclectic, yet unwavering in its consistency – containing 10 tracks on which James gracefully slows down the torrent of his demons and visions.

Socially conscious and insightful singles like the jazz-funk banger “Light up“Trumpism, towering protest song”GOP“ft. French platinum artist Kalash Criminel,”To do things well“and”The truth“offered a sample of why James’s chameleonic stream kicked off a meteoric rise in France (hip-hop’s second-largest market). A pair of introspective lo-fi cuts released in June as”Tobago“With Chester Watson and”Sentinel“British rapper Lord Apex has solidified James’ status as a must-see global ascendant talent.

In a genre that can be so ego driven, James’ more reflective bars are what sets him apart. “It’s important to be real. My sensitivity is my strength,” he says. “When I first started rapping, it was really about my emotions. It was so much easier to express myself in verse – like therapy, I guess. We should teach men to be more open and less. on toxic masculinity. “

The title of the album is then a nod to the fact that beyond what may seem visible, everyone faces their intimate crises. “’Unimaginable Storms’ represents the idea that you could be six feet from someone and have no idea what they’re going through. I thought the idea was something everyone can pull off. identify – not knowing what the person in front of you is thinking or feeling, “he explains. Triple citizenship has given O’Brien an outsider status worthy of his prophetic nickname: one foot in all three cultures, at home in none. Unimaginable Storms is an equally paradoxical album – both visceral and inviting, silky and barbed, amorous and anxious, melancholy and fiery, cool and dark, understated and sometimes exposed. James was recently contacted by the French Embassy in Houston, TX to record a performance and chat with platinum rapper Bun B, which aired on June 21 for the Fête de la Musique, World Music Day in France here. Following last year’s We Love Green festival with Young Thug, Lana Del Rey and Bad Bunny, he will soon be opening act for hip hop legend Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). James’ debut freestyle went viral after being shared by the country’s greatest rapper, Booba. He went on to share scenes with fans like The Pharcyde, appearing on France 24, Vanity Fair, GQ and beyond.In 2018, James was a promise, a future combined with the present, the kid no one had seen coming who had what it takes to break the status quo: the little habits of a gentrifying rap scene. With Summer Archives, his first mixtape for Rupture, James The Prophet dug deep, probing his guts and thoughts in an act of explosive intimacy. Perhaps James was not yet a prophet in his country, but his name began to circulate. The follow-up, Unimaginable Storms is here, bringing with it the hint of a new generational voice in the world of global hip hop.