DMV-based rapper Joony is the next rapper to look out for. At only 20 years old, the Maryland native already has a distinctive sound and a feature with Brent Faiyaz under his belt. Joony released his album Silent Battles this past February a few days after Brent released their track “Paper Soldier.”
The premise of this album is evident from its title Silent Battles. This album explores the unspoken struggles people deal with privately. Even though this project delves into heavy topics, Joony uses melodic beats and playful wordplay to make the subject matter more digestible. Each song touches on the internal dilemmas that are associated with different aspects of life.
“Untold Stories (Silent Battles)” starts off by introducing the theme of the album with an introspective feel. This track is an ode to his younger self. “If I could talk to my old self, he’d be so proud.” The second track “Friends” discusses the problems that come with fake friendships. Joony does not spare anyone’s feelings in the opening bar, “watch who you call your friend. Watch those bitches you trust that’s going to end.”
Joony transitions from discussing the unspoken struggles in friendships to relationships in “When I Was Wit U.” A voicemail from a former lover introduces this record and the lyrics play out reminiscing memories and regrets from a failed relationship. Joony shifts to discussing the predicaments associated with substance abuse in “Designer Plants.” Of course, the east coast rapper still sprinkles witty bars in the song to lighten the mood. “I wear designer pants, and I smoke designer plants, you could come with me but you ain’t fuckin’ up my plans.”
It is definitely refreshing to see an artist as young as Joony explore complex issues in his work.
This album’s excellence is also exemplified by its ability to maintain a consistent sound while featuring eclectic influences. For instance, “Lifestyle” exhibits indie sounds while Max’s interlude showcases a Y2K R&B influence through Beyonce’s “Yes” sample. Despite the differences in style, these two records still stay true to the project’s contemplative atmosphere.
This album proves to be the perfect trifecta of meaningful, unique, and cohesive. The purposeful subject matter, unified sonance, and Joony’s distinct musical style make this project a great listen for start to finish.