With a unique mix of Jim Jones, spirituality and more than a splash of anime, Texas may have a new cult leader in the form of an up-and-coming artist reigning from Dallas. This potential prophet goes by the name Jon_Theory, and his music has already begun to bring people to his temple with the release of his latest visual for “#020008 (Black).”
Jon_Theory has come a long way musically from his early years of battle rap with Live From The Block, both lyrically and in production value, and his new single “#020008 (Black)” is a testament to his growth. Somewhere along his path, the rapper got a taste for the esoteric, with more complex lyricism and a complex project in the works. Each single, serves as a piece of the puzzle, as the project unfolds, and according to Jon, there’s a method to his madness.
“[The song titles] are based on hex code,” he remarked. “I have a background in AV and light and sound programming, so those number make sense to me as opposed to just a color. You can tell me ‘black’ but what type of black? Is it a black that looks more purple, is it a black that leans towards blue? I can see the difference in the shades and hues.”
This isn’t the first time Jon has ventured into the darkness, as seen on his album, which holds both ends of his spectrum sticking to his use of hex color codes to connect the train of thought.
“On the project I dropped, ‘Pages from This Journal,’ I have a song called “Black Goku,” and it’s 100 percent black,” he explained. “This black is more of a purple-ish black.”
Both tracks are in stark contrast to “#FFFFFF (White),” which is more reflective on deeper topics, dealing with racial identity and what it means to be the “alternative Black child.”
“I do have a lot of love for idea of the alternative Black child,” he acknowledged. “I grew up an only child, so my interests were set to be my own as opposed to the interests of those around me, so I have a very eccelect list of things I enjoy, and that’s very prevalent in my music.”
Keeping with the latest trends, Jon_Theory opted to keep the latest single short at less than two minutes total, despite an amazing beat, which he also produced. Despite having influences from across the musical spectrum, from Slipknot to Purity Ring to Vince Staples, Jon decided to gear “#020008 (Black)” more towards the new school of hip-hop consumers, but he’s hush-hush on the deeper details.
“I can’t reveal all the secrets, but I can say this,” he expounded. “We’re living in a time where the consumption of information is getting faster and faster and faster and faster. We live in what I call a microwave society, where you pop it in, you pull it out and it’s done and there’s not a lot of attention to a lot of things. So I try to give people snack-sized music, something you get in, you eat it, and you feel good, and when you want some more you come back to it. It’s snack music.”
His musical treats pair well with his secretive nature, which could be part of the source for his cult-like following, although another element of the mystique comes from the connection he’s made with anime and the massive impact series like Naruto have created.
“So, there’s six paths of self and six realms of heaven,” he exclaimed. “The Rinnegan in Naruto represents the six paths of existence, the six heavens and hells that a man can exist in, which is why I gravitated towards that because that fits in with my spiritual beliefs as well. Going back to the anime, Pain is my favorite character in Naruto because he saw that you can’t build without destroying and he understood the duality between the two...I definitely view myself as the one who will both destroy and build, rather than just destroy or just build.”
This is where that cult-vibe begins to shine. It’s still unclear what exactly it is that Jon intends to destroy and build or how this revolution will come about, but if nothing else, Jon has a theory.
“The old always must die, and the new has to take what the old left behind. We just entered the Aquarian age, and every time we enter into a new age in time, everything that was old is wiped away. So I’m really here to get rid of convention, get rid of old thought processes, get rid of old music, old ideals, and create a space for new ideals and even ancient ideals to be renewed.”
It may be difficult for the non-believers to see how the pieces connect, or what’s in store for Jon’s future, but he’s working on a complex project that looks promising.
“There is a project coming,” he said “You will get the video for “Black,” so you’ll have “White” and you’ll have “Black” and the next one is “Hell.” The next video people will see is “Hell,” which is the lowest path that a soul can be on.”
We can only hope that Jon_Theory doesn’t dwell in the darkness too long.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.