Auri Jones, aka Rep, is a rap artist out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a conscious artist who puts messages in his music and likes to paint pictures with his lyrics. Rep recently released a short EP titled “Tree” which focuses on our desire and need to grow in life, noting the obstacles that might get in the way.
Rep embodies what I feel hip-hop truly is by focusing on lyricism and imagery. He is actually saying something throughout the project and it is clear that he values wordplay, punchlines and metaphors. Rep certainly has a unique sound as I find it difficult to really compare his sound to anyone else's.
I personally appreciate the fact that this album isn’t explicit and references Christianity throughout. Christian Hip-hop, religious based rap, and clean music in general are hard to find nowadays. Sometimes it’s good to get a break from the music about women, money, cars, etc.
The first track that really caught my ear was “Leaves”. It speaks on some serious topics such as faith, miscarriages, failure and hanging on. It’s a well produced track with a positive message. Rep tries his hand at singing which I have to respect. My personal favorite track is track 6 “Redwoods”. It features a very dope beat loop and great verses from Rep, Crossfyre Smith, BRM and Werdplae.
Producers aymadethebeat, dirtybeatz , and beatsbyquefle all did an excellent job of creating an old-school sounding hip hop album. I was a fan of the production on this album for the most part and I respect producers that still make beats that sound like this instead of simplistic, trap beats.
The second half of the album is packed with features. For the most part, the features weren’t bad and they added a new sound/style to the second half of the project. That being said, some of the less quality features maybe could’ve been left off the project.
Overall, this project was a good effort and shows that Rep has a ton of potential. My main critiques have nothing to do with skill/ability, and more to do with mixing and mastering. Some of the tracks could’ve stood to be mixed a bit better, especially when it came to some of the guest verses. Outside of that, I enjoyed listening to the project and it was nice to hear a lyricist spitting clean and conveying a message.