Jmoto – “Pour Up”
Jmoto is an upcoming artist focused on smooth, melodic tracks. Raised in a small town in VA, Jmoto got his start early and began making music before high school. He efficiently distills emotional rap — one of the Soundcloud generation’s iterations of trap, infused with the moody melodrama — along with alternative hip-hop, into memorable hooks, particularly on his latest breakout single, “Pour Up”. The received wisdom is that alternative-styled rappers reject hip-hop’s intricate lyricism, yet Jmoto proves he can innovate while paying tribute to his forebears.
He makes songs that stick, his vocal melodies able to capture both a sense of indifference and compassion, depending on the subject matter at hand. Aside from the catchy melodies, he’s also a creative rhymer, dropping clever bars almost on command.
Jmoto has one of those rare voices in pop and hip-hop music, as it is both joyful and lugubrious in equal measure. The grain of his voice can be seen as being as significant as the words he sings, as it contains a lilting quality which can be read as offering a sense of anguish, yet some degree of hope and optimism remain.
Sustained vocal notes regularly descend or ascend a semi-tone to further this sense of disquiet, revealing a deeper emotional sense which is partially masked behind the shimmering electronic soundscapes of the music. Jmoto has the kind of voice that could make anything sound good,
Jmoto represents a brand of alternative rap music that is introspective, dark, melodramatic, and powerfully melodic. What separates him from the pack is his knack for storytelling, which he does almost poetically. On “Pour Up”, his visually descriptive lyrics act as an ally to the raw emotions in his voice.
The subject matter is a mix of hanging out with the homies, girls, sex and relationships. If there’s a formula for making music that deals with these matters in all the right ways, from a man’s point of view, then Jmoto has nailed it. On the surface, the track shares the usual male bravado, but there is a tinge of nostalgia. Dig deeper, and there are some degrees of vulnerability on display here.
“Pour Up” has a delightful hook in the chorus as the melody drags you in to what feels like soul-searching place. The resonating bassline adds an element of drama to the proceedings, as the percussion and warm keys keeps the momentum going in an almost hypnotic manner.
Jmoto combines all of these factors expertly to produce a track which is both beguiling, and bellicose, in an understated way. Throughout his music, Jmoto shows his ability to use his influences whilst never relying on the templates from which they came.
In Jmoto’s world, feelings carry weight, and cannot be brushed to the side. He knows that unguarded emotions can be mistreated. Hence his defense mechanisms are erected and consistently on display in “Pour Up”, where he is calling the shots and running the game.
Confident in his words to speak as loudly as he needs them to, “Pour Up” proves a great record – a calming, yet insistent motif affronting a series of emotional toils and choices, where Jmoto lays down his personal blueprint.
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