Mark Johnes: “Static Change” – lyrically deep and infectiously beautiful music at the same time

London-based Mark Johnes was raised by a radio DJ father in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he grew up under a pile of 70s soul records that eventually influenced him to make the blend of Hip-hop, Soul and Jazz music he is making today. Mark is releasing one song each month, and currently we have the track, “Static Change”, doing the rounds.

Mark Johnes
Mark Johnes

“Static Change” is truly a lyrically dope track. So he’s not talking about shooting people, or getting chicks. He is doing what most so called emcees can’t, using word play.  If you don’t get it, ask somebody. In fact ask somebody who understands this track to break it down for you so you can understand what rap lyrics should be.

“Static Change is about dealing with the pressure that change brings,” says Mark Johnes. “People are often happy for you to change but are not happy with what it costs for that change to happen. In the end I realize, what people want is static change which is impossible. We can’t stay the same; we all have to go on a journey of changing for the better, getting rid of the old man and putting on the new man.”

Man, Mark Johnes blew me away with this one. I have so much respect for emcees like Johnes who care about their art form and stick with it. The beat is smooth, jazzy, and kickback; the lyrics are fresh, and his messages are on point. I’m sure people who truly love hip-hop will appreciate this one. He flows really well throughout the whole recording. In fact his wordplay sometimes seems more poetic, rather than just regular rap lyrics. Johnes really shines in his role as ‘hungry’ and a clever rapper, and when it comes to flows, he shows extreme flexibility.

Though this is lyrically deep, its infectiously beautiful music at the same time. Mark Johnes must be one of the most unique rappers around today. Not once do you hear him make a violent threat, use misogyny, or boast about his possessions. Instead, his rhymes consist of wisdom, knowledge and interesting, valid thoughts and opinions of things that matter in life.

In a hip-hop world filled with untalented artists, dumbed down lyrics, and recycled club beats, Mark Johnes’ “Static Change” is a breath of fresh air. Apart from the excellent production and soulful singing, this track truly shows the dexterity Mark Johnes shares with the greats of the game; all while sprinkling consciousness on our heads and in our ears.


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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