Sweeney is popping up a slew of collaborations for a reason.
Jack Sweeney (better known simply as Sweeney), is breathing life into Colorado’s limp rap and hip-hop culture. At only twenty years old, Sweeney has already found and mastered his recognizable voice, both acoustically and lyrically. Born in San Francisco, and a Boulder transplant since age three, Sweeney is a part of local music group, PRiME, which focuses on promoting rising talent in the Boulder and Denver area. Before gathering his own crew, he taught himself how to produce and record his own music. Since gaining traction and becoming a part of PRiME, Sweeney has collaborated with other artists such as singer Sophie Kloor and producer GXGVX (whom you can expect on his upcoming mixtape). His well-rounded knowledge of music and production skills provide him with the needed attributes for rapid success.
The first time I met Sweeney, he quietly walked into my apartment to film a freestyle video. Wearing camo pants, red converse, and a gray hoodie underneath an army green vest, he propped his mic up on the porch and lit a cigarette while patiently waiting for the cameras to be set up. When the pulsating beat came on, it was as if a wave washed over him as he jumped into his lyrics. The late afternoon sunlight filtered in at intense angles as he poured his heart out in sharp, poetic rhymes, catapulting himself onto the throne of rap (check the track King Shit). Watching Sweeney is captivating: even passing pedestrians and guys on the neighboring frat roof stopped to gaze towards his performance. When he finished and stepped away from the mic, the curious audience clapped and cheered.
Sweeney is so captivating because he is so different. There are no other artists that have his unique combination of sound: his lazy-like voice somehow spins out words one right after another, pairing well with any of the fresh beats behind him. He can go from “Boom-Bap to new school Atlanta style”. This ability to contrast himself is most evident in his tracks “Flock” (featuring Nature Nate and Stackztoo) and “Long Road” (featuring Sophie Kloor).
Listen to "Flock":
The content of Sweeney’s music is rooted firmly in his own experience, giving it a raw personal touch. In addition to drawing inspiration from the life around him, he tends to watch old horror films while writing for an added edge (i.e. The Exorcist). This combination results in some of the most metaphorical lyricism out there. Take, for example, the hook in the song “Bottle Talk”:
“What you say when that bottle start talkin’/do you guzzle and grab another to stop it/or do you question the ethics that you’ve been livin’ in/sleeping in the grass that the snake still sinnin’ in.”
Listen to Sweeney's track "Bottle Talk":
Sweeney’s hunger is sure to drive him to rise to the top of the rap game while simultaneously bringing more hip-hop culture to Colorado, a state that could use some diversification in their music scene.
You can listen to Sweeney’s The J. Sweeney LP, his Slenderaps mixtape, and other tracks on his Soundcloud. His next mixtape, Return of the Old, is set to debut later this year.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.