What is so clever about Yons approach on Inspiration at finding new ways forward, new directions for hip-hop, rap and the various urban music threads which lie at the core of this music is that instead of pushing outwards into more tenuous and fractured realms, as some artists are trying to do, he instead looks back. He explores past musical genres and blends pop, jazz piano, chilled dance floor beats as well as old school hip-hop to create his sound. Whereas so many of his fellow artists are trying to create music by blending disparate genres which have no business hanging out with each other into chimeric and unsatisfying new styles, Yons reunites hip-hop with its roots in soul, funk and jazz.
And that is what Inspiration does so well, it tips its hat to the past whilst shaping the future and it does really feel like a first, a bold step forward, a post-genre style that pushes beyond the rules and regulations, ignores the fickle finger of fashion and has no time for musical guardians and narrow-minded pedants telling it what hip-hop, pop, rap, dance music or any other genre should be about. More importantly, as the title suggests, it is all about providing a positive role model for those around him who may be otherwise inclined to follow more dangerous paths. It is about breaking stereotypes, changing perceptions and shining a more productive and positive light on a genre which very often doesn’t help itself.
Actually, maybe we should stop using genres, labels, pigeon-holes altogether, after all it really is only lazy journalists who employ them to make their lives easier, and Yons clearly isn’t worried about genres and their narrow demarcations and maybe that is a lesson to all of us.