Rising Brooklyn rapper J.I. releases his ferocious new single, “Riot.” The explosive track, which finds the 20-year-old at his most defiant, is accompanied by clip directed by J.I. and Derek Dreamfilms. In it, we catch the buzzing MC in his element — a swirl of late-night city footage marked by ski masks, gleaming necklaces, motorcycles, dance moves, and casual threats. In between the shots of J.I. and his flexing friends, we see flashes of a riot pushing toward the camera, but it’s clear who’s already won the battle for turf – it perfectly captures the gritty, no-holds-barred aesthetic of the song. “Riot” is available now at all digital retailers. The track will also be included on J.I.’s forthcoming project Young & Restless Vol. 1 Baby Don which is set to be released on June 24th via G*Starr Ent./Geffen Records. Pre-save available HERE.
Over a punishing beat, J.I. uses “Riot” as a canvas to awe listeners with his inimitable blend of urgency and self-assurance. “I’ll let you pick out your casket,” he warns at one point. Throughout the song each line is delivered with complete poise, as if all the chaos around J.I. is still completely within his control.
Over the past several months, J.I. has dropped vital and vibrant singles at a dizzying pace. Those tracks will be compiled on Young & Restless Vol. 1 Baby Don, the rapper’s forthcoming project due June 24. The 11-track offering showcases the young artist’s ability to move seamlessly between melody and menace, the heartfelt and the coldblooded. In addition to “Riot,” the record will include the previously released favorites “Toxic,” “I Ain’t Gon Lie,” “Murda,” “Taken For Granted,” “Morning,” and “No Hook.” On July 10, he’ll take these tracks to the international stage, with a performance at London’s Wireless Festival.
J.I. was born Justin Rivera in Crown Heights, and while he recently dropped the second half of his stage name—he was originally known as the Prince of N.Y.—that self-confidence and sense of history, both trademarks of his hometown, remain. Carrying on the long tradition of Puerto Rican hip-hop talent to emerge from New York, J.I. represents a unique blend of old and new: He entered the game as a 15-year-old with impressive battle chops, but he flexed them over social media. With “Riot,” and the imminent Young & Restless Vol. 1 Baby Don, J.I. is laying the foundations for the next, exciting phase of his burgeoning career.
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