A new album from McKinley Dixon is imminent: The Chicago rapper will return June 2nd with his new album Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?, his debut for City Slang Records. Along with the announcement, he’s shared the record’s lead single “Run, Run, Run.”
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? cribs its brilliant title from the trilogy by novelist Toni Morrison, who Dixon calls “the greatest rapper ever.” Dixon takes cues from the literary legend on the album, deliberately arranging his words as he meditates on poignant messages about introspection, escapism, and the human experience in America. The album’s 10 tracks also boast an impressive list of collaborators, from fellow musicians like Anjimile to the poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib. Pre-orders for Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? are ongoing.
“The cover of Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? came to fruition when I sent the album to artist Ladon Alex with little to no description,” McKinley says of the album artwork. “I told him to listen to the album and draw what he felt would describe what he heard. What he brought back was this beautiful portrayal of afro futurism. We are both fans of anime and sci-fi, so Ladon created the narrative of this boy inside of a room with his power about to be unleashed. Since the cover is the first thing you see, the album then is presented as the magic that the boy contains. The story unfolds.”
“Run, Run, Run” harnesses that same type of power. Don’t let the upbeat instrumentation and catchy hooks fool you, though, because the jazzy track doesn’t sugarcoat its message: “Running from the guns/ Who thought hardest part would be for me to stay down?” Dixon spits.
Watch the music video for “Run, Run, Run” below, and then keep scrolling to see the artwork and tracklist for Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?.
Dixon has previously shared the singles “Tyler, Forever” and “Sun, I Rise,” both of which will be featured on Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?. Beginning later this week, he will hit the road with Tank & The Bangas for their North American 2023 tour; get your tickets over at Stubhub, where orders are 100% guaranteed through Stubhub’s FanProtect program.
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? serves as the follow-up to his excellent 2021 album, For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her.
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? Artwork:
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? Tracklist:
01. Hanif Reads Toni
02. Sun, I Rise (feat. Angelica Garcia)
03. Mezzanine Tippin’ (feat. Teller Bank$ & Alfred.)
04. Run, Run, Run
05. Live! From The Kitchen Table (feat. Ghais Guevara)
06. Tyler, Forever
07. Dedicated to Tar Feather (feat. Anjimile)
08. The Story So Far (Interlude)
09. The Story So Far (feat. Seline Haze)
10. Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? (feat. Ms. Jaylin Brown)