[Under The Radar] SL Jones – Sophisticated Gangsterism
Article by Tip Hicks (@datz_trizzy)
SL Jones is one of the hottest emcees coming out of Little Rock, Arkansas. “I’m from one of those places where nobody has ever just stuck their chest out and made it appealing to be from there,” says Jones. His deep connections with Atlanta rappers and producers heavily influence his music, but his mixtape The Number 23 is a personal shout out to his hometown neighborhood 23rd and Wolfe.
Jonesy goes beneath the surface and gives insight on the psyche of a gang-related individual’s everyday life with his mixtape Paraphernalia. “The music takes the listener on a trip the same way a drug does to a user. I took some of the most recognizable drug-related phrases and acronyms and redefined them.” He uses his street background and college education to create what he calls “sophisticated gangsterism.” “I’m not out here telling you to forget your set, but we shouldn’t be killing because you’re Blood or Crip. I’m not giving you my story to glorify it; I’m trying to get you in the car with me and then make it enlightening.” Highly praised for his “analytical mind and lyrical dexterity,” SL Jones has also received a stamp of approval from the legendary DJ Don Cannon and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike.
Continue reading to discover SL Jones fashion obsessions and places to shop, as well as his favorite upcoming rappers from Arkansas.
Fill in the blank: if I wasn’t rapping…
I don’t know what I’d be doing. I don’t have a plan B because there’s nothing I’d like to do other than music. It’s not a hobby; it’s my way of life
What type of fashion is Arkansas repping? (Favorite brand and places to shop)
Arkansas fashion is in the middle of the map so we’re influenced by a little bit of everything – but we do our own thing. In Little Rock, Sophisticated Urban & RockCityKicks are my favorite spots or in Atlanta are Fly Kix & Ginza. I’m still going through a Pink Dolphin phase. Every time I think I’m over it, they drop something new.
I have a blue and grey corduroy Jansport backpack that I take everywhere with me. I don’t carry wallets and I don’t keep anything in my pockets but my phone and money; so it’s a necessary accessory.
What artist would you like to collab with in the future?
I’m looking forward to collaborating with the other up and coming rappers and producers from Arkansas such as Kari Faux, Pepperboy, 607, Errol Westbrook, Malik Flint, Fresco Grey, and SpaceCamp.
I’m working on an EP titled Trapper’s Delight with the producer M16. If I had to describe our sound together, I would say it’s sort of picking up where I left off pre-Paraphernalia. It’s some real sophisticated trap shit.