Say what you want about Canadian Hip Hop, but what often emerges from the north is a credible, mature sound which captivates even the most hardened American Hip Hopper. Whereas acts like K-OS, Slakah the Beatchild and Kardinall Offishial have remained consistent, the likes of Drake and K-NAAN have rapidly become internationally recognised performers. Acclaimed rapper and an established name within the scene, Miles Jones, drops his much anticipated second album, Runaway Jones, for the rest of the world to embrace as its much earlier release in Canada has already won many fans over.
Much like his fellow Canadians K-OS and Slakah The BeatChild, Jones’ sound is a stirring, soulful one, which marinates the often steady pulse of the beats on hand. ‘Again’ takes on the classic boom-bap format, aided by a feel-good ’90s-esque beat (produced by the rapper himself).
Miles Jones is a narrator who possesses a likeable optimism and charm within his verses. When exploring the various continents he’s toured on ‘Coast To Coast’, its deep bass and leading keys provides the vehicle for the rapper to smoothly tell his tale.
Miles Jones ft. Kae Sun – “Coast To Coast”:
Runaway Jones explores themes throughout and it becomes easy to identify which of those provides the standout tracks. When playing the chilled out master of ceremonies, Miles’ swagger scores him many points. The Slakah The BeatChild-produced ‘Say What’ is a slick, jazzy score, which Jones sits on comfortably, whilst ‘Rhymes Like This’ pays tribute to the supposed ‘good old days’ when music was more substance over style.
Jones is also effective when trawling through the grander Hip Hop beats, as proven when rapping over the recognised sounds of Black Milk on ‘Never Too Late’ and doesn’t disappoint even when jumping into the trance and indie fuelled rocket on ‘Time Machine’. But when adopting the club superstar motif on ‘Never Wrong’ (produced by Boi-1da) its execution fails to convince as a mild chorus takes away from an otherwise decent offering.
Whilst it may have been two years since its first release, Runaway Jones doesn’t sound dated as it provides a soothing, refreshed approach to the commercially constructed music around. Miles Jones may not come with a deep, booming voice which shakes the foundations but his composed, elegant flow is suitable for the sombre moods which the album often finds itself in. A solid project, which provides some of the finer aspects of the genre, Miles Jones can expect to be embraced by more than those residing in the northern regions of CA.
Miles Jones – Runaway Jones
Released: August 2009 (Canada), April 2011 (US)
Label: Mojo Records & Publishing/URBNET/Fontana/Universal (Canada); MB3/Caroline (US)