"The 2nd"-Joshua (Full Album)

A long while ago, about a couple of months after I start Spotlight in fact, I had the opportunity to interview my first upcoming artist for the blog, rapper Joshua. I was impressed with his rhymes, drive, and passion for music. Joshua recently released his third album, The 2nd, which is dedicated to his unborn son, Joshua Watkins II, who is due any day now!

I had the chance to catch up with Joshua about this album, his favorite track, and how he's grown as an artist over the years. Read more and listen/download his album, The 2nd, after the jump!

The album was a completely turn around from Joshua's 2nd album, I Hope You Love Me, which featured mostly singing from the rapper. The 2nd gets Joshua back into his rap flow, but he still acknowledges that that I Hope You Love Me was essential to his growth as an artist. "I needed to make I Hope You Love Me because I have always been rapping and it was starting to get redundant. I was questioning myself, "Why am I rapping?" he said. "When I started doing this new thing and singing and using harmony, it was a huge relief! It was a new way to express myself and I really enjoyed that side of me." He admitted that it was a challenge that he needed, but soon realized why he loved rapping, which sparked rhymes and ideas for The 2nd.

The album featured mostly the work of in-house producer, Bobby James. Joshua also worked with SkhyeHutch and Shag from Bandcamp, as well as DJ Cvince who worked with him on a remake of "To Live and Die LA" by Tupac Shakur ("To Live and Die in the A").  "I wanted to do my version about Atlanta and how it's the place to be. It's nothing like it and people love it. Everybody and they mama in Atlanta!!!" Joshua said. (Secretly, I'm thinking about moving down there eventually).  The song features Joshua's cousin Olivia singing. "I pray I made my city proud with this song I've been wanting to make for years. I also pray I made Tupac proud with this song he is an huge inspiration in my LIFE." he said.

His first single from The 2nd is the moving "Could Have Been," which speaks about regrets in life from different situations, never knowing what could have been in your life because you got wrapped up in other things. His favorite track on the album is "Differences. "The sound of it just puts you in this mode like I have to listen to this right here.  It's where I am at in my life and I am human," Joshua said. "I also love 'Where The Party At.' Just the perspective of what I think partying is. It's amazing."

When speaking on his growth as an artist, Joshua said simply, "With age you mature." And his music has down the same. "Other rappers can speak on clubs and women and drugs and all that stuff. So Ima speak on child molestation and growing up and handling business, rapping about my son and challenges as a husband and father you know?" Again citing Tupac as a great influence in that, Joshua wants to get back to rapping about real issues, which is greatly lacking in hip hop today.

Joshua is steadily pushing his album, as well as preparing for the arrival of his son Joshua II. He is also in a continuing working relationship with photographer Carlton Mackey with whom he has formed a music label, VISION Music. Check out the full album, The 2nd below!

1 comment:

  1. This review is great! Y'all seriously need to check out the album because it really does attest to good music still being made!



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