This week, Jesse Boykins III surprised the world when he casually dropped a new album for free. Bartholomew is a testament to creating "real music that emanates from and stirs the soul," and Boykins certainly succeeds in his efforts. In addition to this, the album also features collaborations with buzzing artists such as Willow Smith, Dej Loaf, Syd Tha Kid, Kilo Kish, Isaiah Rashad, Trinidad Jame$, and more.
When your mind is a creative force field, it makes the most sense to explain how your vision came together in your own words. On that note, we asked Boykins to break down every track on this record for us, so we could gain a better understanding of the elements that inspired this beautiful work of art.
Read all about the inspiration behind these groovy tunes in the gallery, below. Bartholomew is available to stream, but you can also download it here.
Photographed by James Law, All Clothing by O.N.S
It's been an ongoing thing for me, the history of women on earth. I always question the way women have been treated throughout history in a lot of cultures across the world. I was fortunate enough to be in the studio with Leon Thomas and Ledaris Jones, and we channeled that energy that's unexplainable. I freestyle the hook, simply expressing from the start, "This is for you, first and foremost, the real creator on earth, a woman." Thankfully my good friend DJ Dahi, my Pisces brethren, found inspiration in the demo and built it out with me.
"Everybody Shut Up"
Everyone is distracted by what may seem more appealing than their reality. It is more so a feminine trait to soul-search and to dig deep in self to learn more about your surroundings. If your surroundings are polluted with material obsession and superficiality, it becomes hard to stay balanced in self. I’m simply saying its okay to make your own mistakes, as long as your intention is good and your mind independent in thought when needed. Thankfully Ron Gilmore Jr., the production collaborator of J. Cole, told me to drive up to Calabasas [,California] where we built out the track together. Later on in the process, I met a young gifted mind Isaiah Rashad, and we had an interesting conversation about unlocking all the doors in your mind to become better; he got in the booth and shared his emotions. I am very grateful.
"Kumbaya In June"
I know a young gifted producer named K. Roosevelt. I would see him at random house gatherings and finally months later, I stopped by his home studio. Like most of my songs, it started out as a freestyle over this guitar riff Roosevelt was playing, I guess my subconscious was touching on something I had recently experienced with a movie star.
"8 Day Weeks"
This song is about the benefits of staying home with your significant other, with natural stimulants to help build your own world, the one where you have an extra day to do what you want. K. Roosevelt is an experimentalist like me so we were like scientists. Leon Thomas came through the same day and added his energy on the already vibey track.