Country Soul: Willie Jones "Right Now" Review
An artist looking to be successful in their genre of choice always faces the difficulties of the perpetuated stigmas that lace that lane. Like Jay-Z said behind the scenes on his Fade To Black Tour,“They scared to be themselves”. Having the confidence to make the music you connect to personally and push it publicly requires confidence, patience, and faith. Lil Nas X gave us our modern day Black cowboy with his viral debut “Old Town Road”. Even though there are many notable Black country musicians that have been fighting for their place in that genre for years, Lil Nas X made it connect to present-day hip-hop. And he’s not the only one.
Willie Jones is a 26-year old country singer from Shreveport, Louisiana. He made it past the initial audition and weeks of bootcamp before he was eliminated on X-Factor. He was impressive enough to tour with Jennel Garcia, Paige Thomas, Lyric 145, Push 4171, Stay Seventeen, Joe Dias and more on the uneXpected Tour in 2013. Willie Jones made a powerful reemergence back into the mainstream musical scene with his debut album “Right Now”.
Country Soul stole me from the title and kept me with the song. Back Porch held me in this country, soul and r&b world. The fun energy didn’t stop as I started on Bachelorettes on Broadway. Willie Jones showcased his rapping abilities starting with a reference from Kanye West’s hook on “Celebration”. “Yea you know what this is. It’s a celebration b*tches!”. Followed by his heartfelt declaration to support his significant other on Down For It, I was warmed by the sweet lyrics. The T.I reference on the ad libs was a great foreshadowing. “I want yo body. Need yo body. Long as you got me, don't need nobody”. American Dream was a song crooning about the pain of being a Black man in America. Willie Jones cried into those guitar strings an everyday story. The desire to be respected, supported and given equal opportunities without using darker complexion and/or race as a deciding factor.
The pressures of society and personal life is enough to make anyone lose their minds. Sometimes you need to hangout with friends, relax and enjoy the moment. Right Now paints that picture for us. “It’s summertime on someone’s time”. Trainwreck disrupts the mellow vibe with a pop-r&b energy, dancing all over a bluegrass guitar lick. If I’m following this story right, he’s apologizing for his behavior from the night before. Yet that doesn’t stop him from hitting the bar. Drank Too Much is a story of liquor courage that we’ve all experienced at least once. Your attraction to someone intimidates you so you take a couple of shots to boost your confidence. The Jamie Foxx “Blame It” reference adds to the scene Willie Jones is painting for us. “Blame it on the goose, got me feeling loose”. We slow down to meet the next song. Whole Lotta Love is as sweet as the title. Actions is the perfect follow up song because, what is love without the action? The album ends with two versions of Down For It (J.D Walker and MyGuyMars Remix). Both versions feature the smooth vocal stylings of Georgia rap veteran T.I.
Willie Jones’s “Right Now” was a pleasant surprise for my Sunday afternoon. All while I’m listening to this project I couldn’t help but think, “He should collab with Ty Dolla Sign”. This is worth adding to your playlist.