“If you gon know me,
You know I came from the O,
Makin’ a way
Either way that it go,
Straight out the L
I’m making it known…”
– Jacobi Ryan.

Fresh off releasing his EP “Regardless” last week Lawton, Oklahoma’s Jacobi Ryan kicked off his “#52in365 #Formerly Fresh” campaign by dropping his first weekly single on Friday entitled “If You Gon Know Me”. The track itself, a beautiful blend of soul and hip hop over a jazzy piano rift, complete with an aggressive, yet very compassionate, organic flow (he in his own lane) from Jacobi, unpacks “a lot” both musically and lyrically. Even a break in the song where Jacobi infuses the classic hip hop call and response on the track is magic – “If you in THIS house right now, let me hear you say, ye, ye, ye, yeah!”. Jacobi has that voice (whether he is speaking or rhyming) that demands you pay attention. And you will. Shit, you have to fully get on board with Jacobi to appreciate this man’s light – he is a daringly, refreshing voice in today’s hip hop game. He from Lawton.

Lyrically, “If You Gon Know Me” touches upon a variety of topics drawn from his personal experiences, his growth as a person and as an artist (“…at 14 years old, I was talking about bankrolls/Not givin’ an eff/Somehow that wasn’t my grade though/He gave me the test/I’m lookin’ like ‘Ay bro!’/I guess the lessson plan turned into the payroll..”), inherent burdens, criticism, as well as his perspective on some of the pressing issues of our times such as freedom and mass incarceration. Ironically, the artwork for the track, symbolizes “freedom” from more than just a prison perspective according to Jacobi. Yes, I had to ask, the artwork is intriguing – see my previous post regarding his thoughts on this. However, if you really “gon know Jacobi” you may want to check out his upcoming weekly Monday podcasts as he breaks down all of the tracks from his 2019 music campaign at jacobiryan.com. Yep, he is about that consistency and fan engagement life.

Overall, “If You Gon Know Me” is great music period that will touch the psyche of more than just hip hop fans. It’s an introduction to Jacobi Ryan – who is here to make music for the long haul, (“Get ready for encores/If ever the show stop…”) as well as that track you didn’t know you needed on your playlist. “If You Gon Know Me” is available on all music streaming platforms. Listen to the snippet of the track below and enjoy!