Jody Jones has a lot on his mind.
Known as GrandAce, the Dayton rapper’s new EP Evening Afterall, is a collection of adolescent beats that reflect on social awkwardness, pondering the meaning of life, and feeling different from others. These symptoms of pubescent life are relatable to everyone. Listeners will look back on their own acne-scarred past ridden with cringe-worthy nostalgia and wish for the old days. GrandAce features jazzy and spacey production techniques reminiscent of Chance the Rapper, The Internet, Odd Future, and Anderson .Paak. GrandAce transports the listener to a smoked-filled, dimly lit bedroom studio filled with sour diesel and your parents’ best soul and 80s hip-hop records.
Evening Afterall opens with the slick electric piano chords and snappy percussion of, “Someday;” an internal discussion about the future of one’s relationships. GrandAce’s flow is as smooth as butter, which perfectly transitions to the rest of the EP, especially with the next tracks “Out There” and “As the Wind Blows,” both of which have a very dreamy and catchy production.
GrandAce’s flow continues with “Said and Done” and “Winning Circle,” slower tracks that bring the listener to a high school party filled with stoned, insecure teens that use bucket hats, Stüssy hoodies, and Adidas track pants as forms of confidence. “What’s the Move” continues this picture but adds a sense of fragility and sensitivity into the production, illuminating more of the confusion of adolescence.
The EP closes with the tracks “Any Night” and “Fair Game,” which question the complexities of youthfulness, but change the atmosphere of the EP to a sobering realization of the past. It’s as if after GrandAce crowds us with teenage dreams that suffocate our nostalgic sensibilities, he chooses to bring us out to open air to expose us. This track is reminiscent of being high out of your mind sitting outside the local 7-Eleven, Slurpee and Doritos in hand. The jazzy keys on both of the closing songs are like a 2 A.M. joyride in the fog. It’s a really solid way of closing such an emotionally driven and relatable release.
Evening Afterall is an EP that comments on the already popular hip-hop style, while feeling new and ambitious. Though the EP is only about 20 minutes long, it takes the listener on a journey of insecurities that are reminiscent of four long, locker-filled years.