J. Andrew has kept busy over the past four years, despite facing some very difficult times. The San Diego rapper has delivered six solo albums since 2018. He has also appeared on countless other projects, as a co-founding artist on the successful indie label Cult Muzic. Andrew, the record company and its leader Van Bates (aka Black Hesher) have all appeared on The Static Dive many times.
On April 23, 2021 Van Bates died unexpectedly. Since then, the artists who he brought together in life have kept his legacy alive. They are keeping the faith by keeping the turntables spinning. In August the label released a massive compilation of new music from all of their artists. Now J. Andrew is dropping his solo effort.
“Falling Awake Wide Asleep” is the brand new album from J. Andrew, released worldwide to all major streaming services on December 1, 2021. On the 15 track collection the multifaceted Mr. Andrew sings, raps and rocks through tales of perseverance and self-doubt, wins and losses.
From the opening piano sample, record scratch and deep analog synth bass of “Back 2 Life” we know we’re in for a fun sonic ride. J. Andrew then kicks into a tale of resurrection, rising from the ashes of defeat to kick some new ass. The song sets the mood for the album’s lyrical journey back-and-forth between grief and intrepid defiance.
We follow the rapper through bouts of depression on tracks like “Consuming Me” and “Out of Place.” However, in the end he rises to persevere in the face of a broken world on songs like “Breathing” and on the morbid, yet at times inspiring, “If I Don’t Wake Up.”
Musically the album is a fun trip through classic Hip-hop and Alternative Rock. We roll through Red Hot Chili Peppers-style Funk grooves like the slap-bass driven “Still in Between.” We dig down deep into some chilled-out Trip-Hop beats on tracks like “Consuming Me,” “Weight” and “Deep End.” And then we take a trip to Seattle for a bit of Grunge on songs like “This Arrow” and “Surrender.”
“The Stage ” is a real high point with an old-school synth funk that takes the track way back to the origins of both East and West Coast Hip-hop. J. Andrew and guest rapper Katie ladubz match that vibe with some classic freestyle Rap bravado. The album is rife with features from fellow Cult Muzic artists like ladubz, Diastro, Big MC and more. However, at center stage is the versatile J. Andrew. As a vocalist he slides with ease from chopping rhymes to Alice in Chains-style singing. He even takes a turn as a crooner on the fabulously Jazzy “Trapped Under The Stars.”
The new album “Falling Awake Wide Asleep” by J. Andrew is the sound of a very talented dude working through some stuff. The result is a soulful, funky and fun record. Check it out below, listen on your favorite streaming service or download your own copy at Bandcamp. You can also hear the song “The Stage” on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. Follow the links below to connect with J. Andrew. Get on his socials and stay in the loop on all of the news from the whole crew at Cult Muzic.