Chicago rapper McKinley Dixon has returned with his new album Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?, which also marks his debut for City Slang Records. Stream it via Apple Music or Spotify below.
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? cribs its brilliant title from the trilogy by novelist Toni Morrison, who the former CoSign 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.
“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.”
Lead single “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 album artwork and tracklist.
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? serves as the follow-up to Dixon’s excellent 2021 album For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her and includes the previously released singles “Tyler, Forever” and “Sun, I Rise.” Ahead of its release, he broke down the title track exclusively for Consequence.
Dixon has shows scheduled across the UK, Europe, and the US for the remainder of the year. Get your tickets here.
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$ and 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)