Originally coming up with Killer Mike, Arkansas’s own SL Jones looks to make a name for himself in the game with the release of The Number 23, an ode to his 23rd and Wolfe Street neighborhood. The Little Rock native partners up with Don Cannon for the mixtape, also grabbing guest features from other buzzing Southern acts Yo Gotti, Waka Flocka, Pill, and Trae Tha Truth.
SL Jones isn’t your stereotypically lyrically lacking Southern rapper, and his range is on display throughout. From riding out on a slowed down Lex Luger beat on “Driveby Music” to letting loose on the high energy “Hear Me,” SL shows he has versatility. On the latter, Jones boasts over a blaring Don Cannon beat, “Hang-glidin’ on an island, para-sailing with a Sarah Palin/I’m fuckin’ awesome, had a one night stand with amazing.” Tracks like “Swervin” and “NWA” exhibit the upstart in his comfort zone, as well.
The tape does lose a bit of steam towards the end, and listeners could probably do without hearing Jones’s verses on “Black and Yellow,” and “Runaway.” Despite needing a little trimming, though, The Number 23 should peak fans’ interest in the Grind Time Lieutenant as he looks to leave a mark on hip-hop for Arkansas. —NMB