As a solo artist or as the front man of explosive MC/producer duo TTxBC, RP Hooks (formerly known as Truth Be Told) has played everywhere from Soundset to SXSW. He’s shared bills with DMX, Grieves & Budo, Action Bronson, Chiddy Bang, P.O.S, and Schoolboy Q, and has recorded songs with Planet Asia, Phil da Agony, Toki Wright, Abstract Rude, Smoke DZA and BJ the Chicago Kid. If that list of names isn’t impressive enough, just listen to the music: equal parts Twin Cities smirk and Chicago attitude, Hooks’ confident, unpredictable flow, uniquely twisted worldview, and ever-present sense of humor combine to create a style unlike anything in either scene.
His most recent project, All Black Jesus, was released July 23, 2013. All Black Jesus is RP Hooks sharing a lot of his hopes, dreams, and aspirations as it is all layed out on the title track of the album when he states in a chopped-and-screwed fashion “If I die today, I’m gonna come back a rich mu’fucka” over a beat with reverberating 808 kicks and spaced out synths. On the soulful and sparse “88 & Beyond”, RP Hooks come unhinged, spewing in a smooth and comfortable fashion about the passing of his brother, and stating many a rumination on where he seeks to take his art. That mission statement is also echoed on the smooth synths and trap hi-hats of lead single “21 Grams” featuring P.O.S.
This album is full of experiments and chances. 2% Muck provides his signature soundscape on “Mike Tyson” while RP Hooks provides the equivalent of a modern day banger. On the Noam The Drummer-produced “Levels” (not to be confused with the A$AP Rocky tune of the same name) Hooks manages to talk about taking his art to new heights and hoping that all the while, we all join him for the ride. Elsewhere on this disc, you have “We Made It” and “Trapped” which contain well programmed synth melodies that seek to take us to space along with RP Hooks, and it all gets driven home on the song “UFO” which features Lizzo of The Chalice providing a smooth, syrupy vocal backdrop against some vibraphonic sounding bells, while RP Hooks waxes poetic to close the album, and perhaps it is most telling of his real life situation of where he’s at in life and hoping for a better life overall.
At the end of the day, All Black Jesus bares who RPHooks is; a hopeful, pragmatic and honest persona that is seeking to find better in the world he’s in. Maybe RP Hooks hasn’t found that in earth and his experiences, and all the while you would think that based on the soundscapes and the lyrics, RP Hooks hasn’t found what he’s looking for yet, but you can rest assure that after you hear All Black Jesus, he is getting closer to where he wants to be, as an artist and as a person who charts his own destiny.