What began as an aspiration to release an EP, blossomed into something much bigger. JOYRYDE has released his long-awaited, full length debut album, Brave, which carries an immensely powerful story behind it.
In the midst of writing an EP 4 years ago, a disk collapsed in his back, and JOYRYDE knew he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to finish what he’d started at the time. His life changed. Post-surgery, he found himself in a spiral, “filled with hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and more.” This difficult period in his life brought him face to with constant pain, shakes, insomnia and withdrawals. As of result of these struggles, he found strength to get himself back in the studio and writing new tracks. Now, we are blessed with this 18-track masterpiece, taking us on a journey of what it means to be BRAVE, despite road-blocks along the way.
This project is seen as a celebration of life rather than a collection of music. Featuring Freddie Gibbs, NoLay, Kid Sister, Youngs Teflon, and more; this album is crafted to capture the essence of JOYRYDE both as a musician and a warrior.
In a statement about the conceptualization behind BRAVE, JOYRYDE shared:
“In the middle of writing an EP, a disk in my lower back collapsed. After a successful surgery, I didn’t feel like myself at all. I had to take a lot of opioid pills and nerve damage meds to cope with the pain for 5 months and it threw me into a spiral filled with hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and more.
I wasnʼt in the state of mind to finish the EP anymore. and I knew right then it would be a LONG time until I could release music again.
To try and snap out of it, I went back to the studio and just started writing. I donʼt even remember making some of these ideas, to be honest. After a certain point, I tried to get off the meds which was super hard. After battling the shakes, withdrawals, insomnia, and overall pain, I finished one track, then a week later two more.
Needless to say, the past 4 years have been a complete struggle. That’s life, you handle what youʼre given. The experience gave me a new outlook on music and what I wanna do with the rest of my time alive. My role in life is to create for others. I’ve made peace with that notion. So here is BRAVE.”
- ON FIRE
- GOT REAL (ft. Mika Means)
- I SLAY (ft. NoLay)
- FAIL ME
- THRILL (ft. MAJILLA)
- FOCUS (ft. Fze)
- ARTERIES (ft. Youngs Teflon)
- IM GONE
- SELECTA 19
- MILK (ft. Fze)
- YUCK (ft. GOLD)
- DAMN (ft. Freddie Gibbs)(Bonus Track)
The album starts with ‘PRE OP’, the beginning of the story. This track features a countdown, like one would hear after being administered anesthesia. “Are you ready? We’re going to administer the anesthetic”. Next, we transition to ‘ON FIRE’, showcasing a familiar JOYRYDE rhythm and dream-like sounds. I interpret this as drifting, either in a dream state or potentially mimicking the mind mid-surgery. This track has a progression – smooth overall, but ups and downs as we near the end. ‘GOT REAL’ is next, and has a more intense, steady bass driven sound. “This just got real”. Next, we hear ‘I SLAY (ft. NoLay), with a noticeably angrier vibe and emergency sirens in the background.
‘FAIL ME’ states, “Failure, by definition, is a lack of success”, and provides a dancy, coasting vibe. This track is pivotal, because it seems to beg the question: Do I give up or do I keep going? ‘THRILL (ft. MAJILLA)‘ carries a steady beat and centers around vocals. ‘FOCUS (ft. Fze)‘ also highlights vocals, featuring a faith-focused choir in the background. To me, this song represents utter strength.
‘ARTERIES (ft. Youngs Teflon)’ and ‘IM GONE’ both carry an intense, persistent flow. Next, we hear ‘BROOKLYN‘, which goes from a twinkling, chime-like sound into an upbeat bass beat. Moving on to ‘4AM‘, with a saxophone at the opening and jazz undertones. ‘RTTB‘, ‘SELECTA 19‘, ‘MILK’ (ft. Fze)‘, ‘YARDIE‘, and ‘YUCK (ft. GOLD) make up the back end of the album. All of these tracks have an appealing stealth to them, showcasing different variations of bass and rhythm.
BRAVE concludes with the bonus track ‘DAMN (ft. Freddie Gibbs)‘, and let me tell you – THIS is the best possible, most artistic way to conclude the album. This track is consistently dropped in JOYRYDE’s live sets, along with countless other artists who can’t help but include it in theirs as well. The familiarity of this track shows us, loud and clear, that not only has JOYRYDE always been here – but he is here to stay. I am absolutely stoked with this finale, and this album as whole.
This album is all encompassing, and brings so many different sound and rhythmic elements together effortlessly. Each track tells its own story, and the album as a whole serves as a representation of hope and perseverance.
Thank you, JOYRYDE. We can’t wait to see what’s next.