Unlike the flashy, chauvinistic, and shallow rap tunes of years past, the new trend in the modern urban music seems to be (thank goodness) an appeal to meaningful lyrics, mellow harmonies, and (the best part) a sensitive, reassuring artist who is just as vulnerable as their listeners.
Rappers like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and especially Drake are giving new meaning to the word "lyricist", and they don’t let the fear of being called soft and exposed stop them from creating songs that are both meaningful but enjoyable to listen to.
Crooners are also akin to this new introspective form of hip-hop, and talents like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean stick out the most. But there is a new addition to the freshman class of pensive and profound R&B muses, and he goes by the name of James Fauntleroy.
Although not much about his personal life and background is available to the internet world beyond a Twitter account and a (very outdated) MySpace page, fortunately a lot of his music is available for new and old fans alike to listen to. That’s all that really matters, right? The music…
James is most known for his feature with the aforementioned emo rapper Drake on his song “Girls Love Beyoncé”, where he sings the main hook -- a more masculine, slowed-down, and emotive version of the chorus of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”. Despite it not being included on the final cut of Drake’s new album Nothing Was the Same, “Girls Love Beyoncé” set the internet afire with its haunting chorus, trademark delicate lyrics, and the obvious name-drop to the current Queen of Pop.
It also sparked intrigue for a lot of loyal hip-hop listeners, begging the question: WHO IS JAMES FAUNTLEROY?
To put it best, Fauntleroy is a friend of Jhene Aiko, a producer/songwriter for superstar Justin Timberlake, an international man of mystery, an enigma, a decently funny Twitter personality, and a damn good singer.
He’s also collaborated with Big Sean, Aiko, J. Cole, and has a few indie, solo singles to his name, favorites among fans (and me) being “Allergic to You”, “Go Alone”, and “Fertilizer” (yes, THE “Fertilizer” Frank Ocean sampled in his record Channel Orange from last year).
Whether James is set to release more new music, we aren’t 100% sure yet. By the looks of his ever-increasing popularity, though, and the fact that he is mentioning that he is always songwriting on Twitter, we can only hope that more meaningful and good music will come our way. Goodness knows that the music industry needs it nowadays!