Hip-hop needs a new home.
Hip-hop is one of the most popular genres in today’s music scene, and the ruthless, cutthroat community – often a killing floor – is a narrow stomping ground with little room to grow.
Then there’s Hobo Johnson.
Hobo Johnson is a trending artist who has managed to break through with his unique brand of poetic, bare-bones rap. His spoken word style shares common ground with a somber, awkward style of written prose. The erratic wordplay is something the hip-hop community, or perhaps the entire music community, hasn’t seen on the front lines before.
Hailing from Sacramento, Frank Lopes a.k.a. Hobo Johnson is an unlikely rap protagonist of an ongoing tale of tarnished underdog glory. His background is one of hardship threaded with wordplay from the back seat of his former 1994 Toyota Corolla. You could say it was his source of inspiration before the car was scrapped. The hood was scrawled with poetry stanzas, and it was also his former home.
Hobo Johnson reeks of sincerity in between every line. His production style is simplistic, focusing on lyrical content instead of complex rhythms and textures. It’s a style that is reminds me of a comedic punchline at the end of a novella. It’s sweet. It’s sad. It’s everything that is missing in hip-hop, and I think as fans we quietly long for something real. As fans, we deserve something real.
Recently, Hobo Johnson has been getting mixed feedback; extreme hate and undying love from both sides of the seesaw. At first listen, I sat right in the middle. Despite being completely caught off-guard, I couldn’t stop listening to it. There is something to be said about being caught in between loving and hating something, but being undeniably attracted to it.
His music is mortifying, yet absolutely beautiful.
romeo & juliet
With the current state of the hip-hop scene, there is a void to fill. Hobo Johnson fills it. The industry lacks originality, pure and simple. There’s a cycle of regurgitation with the same artists creating the same overlapping styles of lyricism and production approaches. Hobo Johnson is an anomaly at every angle. He’s on par with a fresh spin, and fresh doesn’t him justice, nor does it accurately brand his style. He spins stories of real heartache that speak about the backwards shortcomings of being human.
For more, visit his site.
Hobo Johnson around the socials: