Spring break 2015. I was home for the week in Philly to see my family, friends, and to bless my ears with music that I had never heard anything like before. I went over to my boy’s house to chill and play FIFA and after a solid burn sesh where we were talking about the new music we’ve gotten into he goes, “You ever hear of Jon Bellion?” I think back to that moment and all I have to say is,
I’m really glad we had that burn sesh.
My friend threw this song on and I immediately wanted to hear more. I have not heard production like that in ages, and I knew this dude must deliver beat after beat. The craziest part was after he played the song, he showed me this video on YouTube. And that is when I knew I found my new favorite artist.
This man can sing, rap, beat box, and produce songs all on his own, which is unbelievable. Another awesome thing about Jon is that he just knows exactly how to translate what’s going on in his mind to meaningful lyrics and an amazing beat. After I went home from my friend’s home that night I downloaded all three of Jon Bellion’s mixtapes. Let’s talk about each one.
His first one, Translation Through Speakers, was released about two and half years ago. This album title compliments exactly what I just said: Jon knows how to translate through speakers, which honestly there’s only a certain amount of musicians who have that talent. At only (then) 22, it’s very impressive Jon is able to do that. There are a lot of great tracks on this mixtape, my favorites including Dead Man Walking, While You Count Sheep, Wutup Snow?, and The Wonder Years. I loved the features from his boy Blaque Keyz too on For The Dreamers and Wutup Snow? as well,
His second mixtape is The Separation, which came out a little under 2 years ago. This mixtape sounds completely different than Speakers , which you can hear in the tone of his beats and lyrics. Overall, the mixtape sounds a bit more positive in tone and shows Jon’s progression as a musician. Eyes to the Sky is such an awesome intro, and definitely makes you “just wanna be happy.” Ungrateful Eyes is one of the most meaningful songs I’ve ever heard. The message of this song is so true and something that everyone needs to consider. Jon says it best in his “Making Of” video for this song, but he put it something like this. We always look out for our future selves. We’ll want something, or want to do something now, but then we say “Once I get a job. Once I settle down and have a family. Once my kids are out of the house. Once I retire.” and then you’re old and on your deathbed and look back realizing you never did it. The message here is that we take everything we do and see now for granted, but we really are blessed to be in the position we all are in. If you’re checking out this blog post, I highly recommend checking that song out. Other tracks on the mixtape I love are Superman, 2 Rocking Chairs, Kingdom Come, Jim Morrison, and Halloween. I also love When the Lions Come because Logic is fucking sick, and so are Blaque Keyz and C. Dot Castro.
On to his latest mixtape, The Definition. Just like his other two mixtapes, this one is completely different. And just like his other two mixtapes, it is music gold. The Definition released about 10 months ago, and has gained a bit more recognition than his previous two. Listening to this album from start to finish is something I do easily 3-4 times a week because it’s just that good. It starts with a song called Munny Right , which Jon essentially explains that he showed all of the haters and doubters that he made it and that he’s making “half a million after taxes just to make a couple songs.” The album ends with Luxury which brings the album full circle, and Jon is saying that he doesn’t want to be sucked into the evils of having so much money and power, which just shows how real and true this guy is. Jon held a nationwide The Definition tour this past spring, and I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to his Pittsburgh show and rest assured, it was absolutely unreal. One of the most fun nights I’ve ever had, and his setlist was awesome. I get goosebumps remembering back to when he opened with ‘All Time Low‘ and ran shit on the beat pad.
So you might be asking, “how/why would you compare Jon Bellion to Kanye?” Well, reader, anyone that knows me knows that I am a die hard Kanye fan, and that I can argue for days on why Kanye is one of the most talented musicians of our time. I can compare Jon to Kanye in so many ways. Both were college dropouts, both were confident in their game from day 1, both started by producing beats and songwriting (Jon Bellion co-wrote and produced ‘Trumpets‘ by Jason Derulo and wrote the chorus to ‘Monster‘ by Eminem ft. Rihanna), both can rap, sing, produce amazing beats, both have progressed so much as artists and both of them know how to stay true to themselves. Jon Bellion is featured on Zedd’s latest single Beautiful Now, and is currently working on finishing up his fourth project, which I’m sure will not disappoint. Jon Bellion and all of the musicians on Visionary Music Group have my support 100%. Stay tuned to Beat a Day for any and all Jon Bellion updates.