Virginia native mynameisntjmack understands what it takes to be a great artist. I’ve come across him on many a Discord server, submitting music to be reviewed by everyone that will give him the time of day. This hustle is starting to pay off in more ways than one. His song “BUNKER/PREROLL” with Tommy Richman is his first to crack 100,000 streams and he recently became the first signee to Genius’ new distribution platform.
Yet on his latest single “NEWBRASSKNUCKLES,” he’s doing anything but flexing his latest wins; spitting self-deprecating and vulnerable lyrics over a simple piano-heavy beat. The music video features black-and-white scenes from Chinatown in south Manhattan and the industrial subways of New York City, evoking a gloomy, lo-fi aesthetic.
“NEWBRASSKNUCKLES” finds JMack coping with his anxieties through drug use and still feeling alone even as his listenership increases. The somber self-referential line: “My name isn’t JMack, but that’s what they all call me. Never used to mind it, but lately no one’s calling,” illustrates this the best. He even goes so far as to downplay his work ethic with lines like “made it here fine, but the grind real subtle.”
To me, “NEWBRASSKNUCKLES” shows that victories aren’t always going to equal happiness. Unprecedented streams and exposure also bring with them higher expectations, and more people paying attention to every move you make, which can feel suffocating. Above all else, stream “NEWBRASSKNUCKLES” to understand this perspective.