Exclusive: SL Jones explains why Andre 3000 is one of his favorite rappers, and he draws parallels between his ascent and that of Steve Jobs.
On September 4, SL Jones dropped his second mixtape release of the year, “Way Of Life No Hobby,” which follows the release of his Trapper’s Delight EP. The artwork of his latest project is based on an old hobby—Jones used to casually sketch—but the self-proclaimed “street patriot” says his chosen trade of rapping is far from just a pastime.
“It's not just something I just pick up and put down,” Jones said during an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX. “It's not a like, ‘Oh, okay it’s all fun.’ The stuff I’m talking about, and what I put into it, is just [a reflection of] how my mind works. It's like any other grind, and that's how I approach it...with that same mind frame.”
While the words “trap” and “grind” may have less than glamorous definitions for some listeners, Jones has his own unique definition of what the verb trap means.
“It's an acronym for Taking Risks And Profiting,” Jones said. “When I say a risk is a risk, most people think especially in the street. When we say taking risks, that means you’re doing something that will get you locked up; that's the truth. But anybody can relate to that, because, Steve Jobs dropped out of school to start Apple. He took a risk. His parents probably wasn't down with that.”
While drawing parallels between his own ascent with the late co-founder and Chairman and CEO of Apple, Jones added that he also took inspiration from someone closer to Hip Hop.
“[I like] Andre 3000 because of his ability to not be placed in a box,” Jones said. “It's like he could do whatever he want to do. He wore a wedding dress to the Grammy's and nobody called him gay. He could just do whatever he want to do. He was probably the first person you seen wearing a kilt in a video. He could just do anything he want do, and he ain't scared. He not scared to be criticized, like coming out with a record like "Hey Ya," after being arguably one of the best lyricists, that's my number one lyricist.
The Little Rock, Arkansas product made his debut in 2007 with the mixtape “C.O.L.O.R.S.,” and he has since worked with Don Cannon and Metro Boomin' while making an appearance on Killer Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind, Underground Atlanta.