By Melo Jones
Joel817 is an up-and-coming artist on a mission to become the next “El Capitan” of the Wild, Wild, West. Born in Austin, Texas to a Mexican family but raised throughout the state, Joel817 wears the whole Lonestar state on his back. Everything is bigger in Texas as they say; the cars, the shoes, the hats... everything. This man’s music is no different. He proudly reps his hood to the fullest embracing all that is Texas hip hop music. Heavily influenced by rappers such as T.I., TechN9ne, and SPM, Joel817 incorporates a lot of their “unapologetic” attitude into his music while staying true to his own style of more technical and lyrical rap. Far from one dimensional, he likes to combine the raw, gritty nature of trap music with real life emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Certain aspects of Texas’ “Chopped & Screwed” hip hop culture are quite evident as well. These different elements blend to form Joel817’s signature style of music.
One of his hit songs “Serious” featuring Tiien is a perfect example of Joel817’s seamless execution of culminating all the different components that comprise his music. The lyrics are very raw as he speaks about his upbringing, family, heritage and what he is willing to do to protect them. The delivery is very structured and balanced with a focus on clarity and enunciation. In the intro and outro to the track you feel the Texas influence with the dramatic record scratching, slowed tempos and beat skips. An ode, perhaps, to Texas hip hop icons like Slim Thug and Chamillionaire.
In addition to his track “Serious”, Joel817 has many released and upcoming works to look out for. His first EP “Refuse to Struggle” dropped in March and is available on all major music platforms. He drops new material weekly and is looking to venture into doing shows and performances. His goals are to work with his idols Tech6N9ne and SPM. Ultimately, Joel817 creates music that relates to people of the struggle, people who came from the bottom like him. He strives to be that uplifting motivating voice to many millions all over the world the same way his idols were to him.
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