Racquel Jones: Sacrilege (2020) — Single Review

The slow-building music career of Racquel Jones has finally culminated into a swagger-filled jump to the top. Despite releasing a variety of singles over the past five years, a full-length album has yet to come out under her name. But now, after a long history of poetry, modeling, and touring with long-time electronic group, Thievery Corporation, the Jamaican-born hip-hop artist is ready to release her first record, IgnoRANT; and the newly-released single, “Sacrilege,” is certainly a strong way to start.

The term “hard-hitting” can mean many things, but Jones’ newest single covers just about all the bases. Sonically, the instrumental never loses its intensity and aggression; with harsh, nu metal-esque bass lines driving the majority of the track. Shrieking synths and atmospheric industrial effects then fill the holes in between the periodic bass sections. This results in something between industrial hip-hop and rock, much like a record I just went over: Backxwash’s God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It (2020). The verses are then shrouded in a strategic darkness that both compliments the overall mood of the track, and mimics the numerous despairs Jones lists throughout.

The similarities to Backxwash’s project only continue, when glancing toward the subject, and lyrical material. “Sacrilege” takes an unapologetic and blasphemous stance toward religion, but importantly, doesn’t do so just for the sake of it. Often-times artists will say something controversial for attention or emotional impact, but for Jones, it seems real and becomes thought-provoking because of it. It shines light on the demonic acts many Christians took against the black community while repeatedly citing the Bible’s justification of things such as slavery. And it doesn’t forget to mention the forceful adaptation of Christianity that many black people were subjected to, as well, hopefully bringing many to question the validity of their faith and where it comes from. It’s clear Jones is familiar with what she’s speaking about, which provides a very nice authority that you can’t simply question.

Overall, the track is very interesting in its stylistically diverse approach to hip-hop, and relies on a pretty outstanding flow from Jones herself. Her biting, staccato cadence comes with an inherent hostility toward those in the past and future who have harmed her and her family; and this hostility becomes contagious with the ferocity of the beat and bass. But the attack isn’t blind, or worthless. It forces often-forgotten ideas into the listener’s head, and reminds them that Christianity isn’t, and certainly wasn’t innocent in its dealings with the black community. It’s a strong single that owns itself, has a lot to say, and makes me excited for what Jones’ future has to offer.

Make sure to check out the song on Spotify, or wherever else you get your music. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more updates, album suggestions, music discussions, and more. All my links are at the very bottom of every page on my website, or you can search for them all using huntingitdown.

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