Empowering, revolutionary, and unapologetic, Racquel Jones’ debut album ‘IgnoRANT’ is a cinematic, visceral upheaval of seismic proportion: An impassioned, radiant, and fierce baring of the soul.
Stream: “Queen” – Racquel Jones
Empowering, revolutionary, and unapologetic, Racquel Jones’ debut album is a cinematic, visceral upheaval of seismic proportion. IgnoRANT is far more than a collection of songs: It’s a bold statement of affirmation and defiance; of passion and purpose; of dignity and inner strength. It’s a record of truth, and of life – a voice for the voiceless, lighting a fire for all to feel the burn.
School of dark thoughts with the visions of consciousness
It be pealing mask off and revealing the inner self
It’s the mirror that they fear
so they say that they don’t like me
I reflect their inner fears
It’s the you, you see inside me
Paranoia paramour that they say is just depression
I see lucid vivid visions,
but they say it’s ‘sleep depravision’
I keep ma mind occupied I live in a different vortex
You ain’t welcome where I reside in this cerebral cortex
Van Gogh mindset but l look like a BASQUIAT
Utter delirium but I ain’t lost my mind yet
I see Dali like images from a Dalia lama mind
It’s an intricate enigma so you’ll never get my rhymes
I’m way ahead a my time several centuries ahead
Already outlived this generation when my fetus was an egg
It’s so lonely at the top when ya dealing with frequencies
Cause the status of where I’m at is beyond what the people sees
Extraterrestrial, subjected to ridicule
I’m the Tesla of vernaculars, I’m from a different kinda school.
As I lay in bed
And fall into my head
It’s so damn beautiful
But I’m still scared to fall
But I go deeper than you do
It’s so physical and cruel
I found I’m lost in time
I miss those thoughts of mine
– “Manic,” Racquel Jones
Released April 23, 2021 via Magnetic Moon, IgnoRANT proves an exhilarating, important full-length introduction to Jamaican born, Los Angeles based artist Racquel Jones. A singer/songwriter, visual artist, painter, model (former Miss Jamaica Universe contestant), and poet, Jones has been a member of Thievery Corporation’s touring band for years, and debuted her own first solo material in 2015. Increasingly active over the past two years, Jones has recently come into her own as a dynamic, captivating rapper and vocalist spitting stunning worlds of wonder. She harnesses the power of words against vivid, compelling pop, R&B, and reggae-influenced backdrops brimming with colorful sound and urgent feeling.
Music like this doesn’t happen overnight; as Jones herself explains, IgnoRANT is a very long time coming.
“I started making this album while in the middle of tour in 2019,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “I’d fly to LA on my days off to lock down in a home studio with my production team and create. The concept for this album/art has been in the making for years longer though. I always had this vision that I would create a project where half would be visual art and the next half would be music that equally explore the same theme. This album and art is about making statements; conceptually, musically, visually. The project is about addressing stereotypes commonly faced by marginalized and oppressed people. Sonically I wanted a sound that colored outside the lines of restrictions and what is considered normal and trendy, only adhering and obedient to whatever is felt.”
“I was very intentional and strategic going into making the record, and the producers and I were on the same page from the jump. By the time I got to the studio, each concept for each song was thoroughly thought out, as were each painting accompanying each song. When I envision something as clearly as I did with ignoRANT, nothing changes in the process, except the vision is improved upon, as was the case working with SMLE.”
Immediately accessible and yet so full of depth and knowledge, IgnoRANT is both achingly intimate and radically assertive. Jones weaves in clever and cutting wordplay throughout twelve tracks that radiate light and ignite our passions – starting with the introductory spoken-word preamble, “Invocation.” Acting like a foreword, the 80-second prologue sets the scene for songs to come, as Jones says bluntly: “This is not about you, but it is at the same time. I don’t ever take shit personal, but I do at the same time. I’m offended on my behalf; I’m offended on your behalf; I’m offended on his behalf; I’m offended on her behalf – and you?! You fucking offended me. This is about me, but about you at the same time. This is about everybody, but nobody at the same time. ‘Cause really, do you hear me? Do they hear us? Are they listening? Oh, but you? You gonna hear me… This is not about right, but it’s wrong, at the same time. And this is definitely not about victims, but we are at the same time.“
Sick of dem telling me how I should feel
What I should say when I keep it real
How I should go about spillin my feelings
when they be the one who making me ill
They never been in my fucking shoes
They don’t expect to have different views
The kicks I was given I live in them
Yet they be judging from ones that they fucking choose
I’ve been keeping my cool
Tryna live by they fucking rules
But I’m bout to erupt cause I been had enough
and I swear it is gonna be cruel
Make way! Make way for the rant
Bay shot a spray from the bloodclawt tank
No longer diplomatic, got the semi automatic,
when mi put this shit pon rapid d’even
Al-Qaeda can stop it
Eradicating, triggers are navigating, I’m pulling up
I’m making statements and I’m advocating
For the mad block woman, I fit the stereotype bitch
Magnum pon mi lap so dem can hop up off my dick
– “Anger,” Racquel Jones
One can think of no better summation of this album than its raw, expressive title: “IgnoRANT” captures the artist’s passion and heated charisma long before we hear it firsthand.
It’s an all-encompassing umbrella for the fervent, urgent, smoldering emotions and sonics that come to life in Jones’ art.
“There is no other common denominator synonymous in discussions about stereotype as is ‘ignorance’,” Jones says. “Having been apart of or observing several rants in my lifetime, I have come to the realization that, while we are all entitled and justified in some cases to how we feel, we are often times ignorant to the experiences of others and the rational behind their perspectives. Likewise, some of our very own ideals and perceptions are formed upon the premise of ignorance. So I guess, ignoRANT is me being cognizant of the fact that while we feel and hurt, and rightfully so, there’s a lot we are still ignorant about, and knowing that should be important in how we have discussions.”
“The voice of the record is addressing truth; in its raw blatant pure form void of the disposition of wrong or right,” she adds. “It’s my voice…along with the voice of anyone who has ever felt stereotyped. It may seem at times cynical, sarcastic, provocative and uncomfortable, but the anguish is palpable by intention. It’s a voice unique, but one that anyone can understand. It’s the voice of undiplomatic gritty intelligence, relatable to all cultures, transcending pop cultural vernacular and ‘waves’. It’s the voice of powerful women made to feel powerless. It’s the voice of Black kings made to feel less than human. It’s the voice of sexual freedom in the face of misogynistic false standards for women. It’s the voice of a young Jamaican woman who’s seen the world and its parallel stereotype universes in all cultures. It’s the edgy voice of Jamaica, a rebel beauty queen, a fallen preacher’s child, the only sister among three brothers, four years in art school and a bachelor of fine arts. That’s me, I’m that voice. I’m Racquel Jones. I create music that’s conceptual, but not too esoteric; intelligent but dope, relatable yet deep, revolutionary and soulful, thoughtful in its words, learned in its language, but totally accessible. That’s me, and I’m baring my soul for the world to see and hear.”
Freedom from expectations unh
Sit back just keep spectating unh
Fuck what you think you hate it huh
I fuck so fix yo faces up
I don’t need that shit
It shouldn’t matter if I ride it then I dip
Mi Nuh need dat shit
It shouldn’t matter if I hit it then dip
You think impossible
I know that you want to control me
I don’t have a broken soul
You say that but you must not know me
Pussy power but I’m not a feminist, bitch
Others got “the flow” I got the clitoris drip
Racquel on they tongue when I’m sitting on lips
So I’m cunning in mouths, is that gossiping shit
Fuck all that talk, baby fuck all that noise
I love on my toys, but I fuck the fuck boys
And I do it gruesome when I make the juice run,
dickies I induce them, egos I reduce them
– “Daddy Issues,” Racquel Jones
For Jones, this LP does exactly what any good debut is supposed to do: It reveals her inner multidimensional self, staying true to form while refusing to conform to anything but the artist’s own will.
“This album tells a lot about me as a person and me as an artist, if people really care to pay attention. I approach writing music like I approach my visual arts, and my intentional approach shows in my work. One thing that’s always important for me when writing music is that my lyrics must be able to read as poetry and stand on their own without music behind it. It’s also important to me to have something to say; that not only express my feelings but that it’ll also speak on behalf of those who aren’t able to. Also, musically, there are some pretty unique approaches in there than I can humbly say I’m impressed by, that sonically sets this record apart from the current sound of what’s going on. I think this introduces me in a way that lets people know I respect and honor the artistry by being very creative, I have things to say, and I’m going to do this shit my way as it comes naturally to me.”
This vessel of uncompromising self-expression opens with the feverish and in-your-face “Sacrilege,” whose chorus cry “Unleash! Now let me mother fucking preach!” moves us to silence as Jones, cool, confident, and incensed, takes the mic and never lets it go. She sings for herself, while channeling her ancestors and all those who have been hurt by religion:
Unraveling, Evie eating them apples
Burning your chapels, fuck the Bible novels
Shouldn’t a shackle us, shouldn’t a hit the gavel,
now we ready for battle, vicious the tackle upon
tabernacles, killing the devil, seven by seven till the score is settle, empty the vessel, demolish
down to the pebbles, level the field, Gimmi di real, Gimmi the steel, making dem feel,
Making them bleed, til they believe
Gi dem the Gospël
Raw evangelism Pussy spitter; the apostle
Flooding them so viscous so we call it Pentecostal
Sacrilegious so the damages gon’ be colossal
Spiritual immortal but a beast; we pterodactyl
“‘Sacrilege’ is how I feel about religion having first hand experiences with it,” Jones explains,”living daily its damages, being in a world tainted by the negatives of religion, feeling residual effects of what Catholicism did to my ancestors, and watching history omit and demonize the true spiritual origin of Africans and its descendants.”
We spiritual, we not biblical metaphysical, we not fucking religious
diabolical, hidden in psychological shit
In the rituals, and literature they give us as gifts
They didn’t tell us ‘bout Ra, Sekhmet and Horus and Isis
But they paint us a picture so know what a Christ is
Kill our prophets and replace dem with Myths
Give us the Virgin Mary tell me who is that bitch
Modern scholastics, could not undo the hieroglyphics,
ain’ got to practice knowledge is in our genetics
So begins an IgnoRANT that ebbs and flows through spaces of anger and righteous rage, self-empowerment and self-affirmation, introspection and empathy, love, hope, and hopelessness.
Jones rises to meet every moment, her expressive voice infusing her fiery raps with seemingly limitless emotion and energy. She cites the poignant, tender “Manic” – a haunting reckoning with mental illness – as a definitive favorite.
“It captures me the most out of all the songs,” she shares. “It captures the beauty and the ugly with my battle with mental illness. It captures the brilliance and the darkness of the depths of my mind. It captures the part of my mind that birth my artistic surrealist visual creations. It captures my never ending struggle of having no mid ground and constantly going from calm to explosive, happy to sad, manic to depressed, and calm to panic.”
I’m panicking, manic-ing, battling, baffling
sanity vanishing fuck it I’ll pack it in shit is so
damaging fuck is this happening staggering
stuttering buffering suffering babbling maddening
grappling saddening how am I managing fuck it
I’m a little bit crazy im a little bit mad
I don’t wanna be a lady cause I get to be a goddess
I don’t let you niggas play me, cause I run di ting lawless
When mi come from baby, every modda fucker heartless
But “Manic” is not alone in Jones’ list of highlights; she pinpoints some of her favorite lyrics scattered throughout the album as well:
“I see Dali-like images from a Dalia Lama mind. It’s an intricate enigma so you’ll never get my rhymes. I’m way ahead of my time, several centuries ahead, already outlived this generation when my fetus was an egg” – MANIC
“Give them the gospel. Raw evangelism, pussy spitter – the apostle. Flooding them so vicious so we call it Pentecostal. Sacrilegious, so the damages gon’ be colossal. Spiritual immoral but a beast, we pterodactyl” – SACRILEGE
“Growing up we use the fairytale as our reference. Older now and pain is what we pay for it as penance” – HURT
“I’m a prototype stereotype but a cut above the rest, but I’m gonna be a fucking type, then I’m gonna be the best” – HEARTLESS
“From creating this record, I learned that even when I’m hurting and I’m the victim, there’s always room for understanding, empathy, love, and change,” Jones shares. “I hope this album will do the same for others, or initiate discussions to make these changes.”
From the turbulent “Sacrilege” and “Anger,” to the intimately stirring “Doxology” and “Heartfelt,” to the unrelenting “Jungle” and the intoxicating album closer “Queen,” IgnoRANT thrives off tension and release, vulnerability, zeal, and pure passion. As Jones herself affirms, it’s a voice of Black kings made to feel less than human; it’s a voice of sexual freedom in the face of misogynistic false standards for women; it’s a voice of overcoming stereotypes and asserting yourself; a revolutionary and radiant baring of the soul.
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Racquel Jones’ IgnoRANT with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut album!
Blacker the berry the deeper the fetish is
Darker the pussy the sweeter cherry is
Bigger the titties the cheaper the value is
But Thicker the lip is the higher the bidder is
Magic in a black kitty so they say that pussy evil
Put em in a grip so they say that pussy lethal
Voodoo in da hips so they say that shit medieval
now we got the whip so they made that shit illegal
Who the massa now when I got em in check
That is a synonym for this rope on his neck
They call it S&m but we gett’n this check
Emasculating him, making me a little wet
You see this silhouette and you see these black curves
We just an object when you luh the black girls
And if we submit, we get all the black perks
And if we object, we become black curse
– “Jungle,” Racquel Jones
Stream: “IgnoRANT” – Racquel Jones
:: Inside IgnoRANT ::
I grew up in church. My mom is a minister. She’s a seventh day Adventist. At the beginning of divine hour on sabbaths, we have what is called the invocation, which is basically a call to order for the procession of the church service. The invocation sets the tone for the ceremony. It’s solemn, sacred, holy and serious. There was no better way to start this ceremony than with an invocation. It’s ironic, symbolic and intentional that the whole album in my head took on the structure of church service like I remember from my childhood. Because the greatest most aggressive and ignorant rants I’ve ever seen were in sermons at church.
Sacrilege is how I feel about religion having first hand experiences with it, living daily its damages, being in a world tainted by the negatives of religion, feeling residual effects of what Catholicism did to my ancestors, and watching history omit and demonize the true spiritual origin of Africans and its descendants. “They didn’t tell us ‘bout Ra, Sekhmet, Horus and Isis, but they paint us a picture so we know what a Christ is…kill our prophets then replaced them with myths.”
It seems to me that having the space to be a woman and be angry is not an acceptable coexistence in imposed feminine norms; without being labeled as aggressive, sensitive and dramatic. And that angers me further. I am a woman in this world, a black woman at that, and a black woman from a third world country, AND a black woman with a darker skin. I have a lot to be angry about. And here a few of them.
This song is about NOT having daddy issues, but denouncing negative sexual connotations associated with women who are sexually liberated.
This is about my deep dark hidden struggle with mental illness. It’s about the beautiful yet ugly dilemma of going from the extremes of; high and low, dark and light, depth and fear, calm and panic, isolation, bondage and freedom, and towing the line of sanity and insanity.
A first person’s examination of successful black people’s relationship with ego, material wealth, aggressive assertion of self confidence and how all of this connects to the proverbial 40 acres and a mule.
This is the exact doxology sung in church on sabbaths during Devine hour. It’s a sacred song of praise. This is my way of saying, despite my denouncement of Catholicism, spirituality is separate from religion. This is my way of acknowledging the fact that even though I now have knowledge of how untrue and diabolical some religious facts are, the damages forever plagues me and some can’t be undone…as I can never unlearn or forget some of these religious programmings, just like I still remember word for word the doxology sung every sabbath.
This is where the album takes a turn and starts getting very vulnerable and personal for me. Growing up in a country troubled with classism and colorism where superficial beauty is very important for social acceptance. I was signed to a modeling agency as a teenager, and had a brief stint in pageantry, so I’ve had first hand experience of the unrealistic and damaging standards of beauty constructs. To this day, I’m not uncertain the emphasis and validation people place on the external aesthetics that we didn’t get to have a say in, and how they determine what is ugly and what is beautiful. So this is my vulnerable examination of all of that versus what I feel really morally defines me and validates me as a person, and that has nothing to do with anything superficial.
Heartless explores the idea of how a Black man is perceived in America vs the system. It asks the question of who exactly is heartless? Is it a black male in a hoodie in a traffic stop? Or a system that is told based on appearances, a black man can be deemed a threat? Heartless is about black people versus a rigged system post the abolition of slavery, and after the civil rights movement. “I’m a prototype stereotype”.
This is a culmination of all my heartbreaks grouped into one song, where I’m speaking on why I’m hurt, holding the people accountable and getting my own sense of closure; without the fear of feeling shamed or dismissed for feeling hurt.
“Jungle” is actually telling two stories at the same time. Every time I speak, it’s telling the historical story of Kumina which is the African/Jamaican spiritual practice with distinct drumming, that the beat is derived from. And the verses are examining the fetishization of black women.
“Queen” is a song for women to feel empowered, inspired and confident. And the perfect benediction to close out the album.
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📸 © 2021
:: Stream Racquel Jones ::