Croydon-hailing multi-hyphenate Jords takes us through his new album, ‘DIRT IN THE DIAMOND', revealing full-circle Masego moments and more.
The announcement of Jords’ new album, ‘DIRT IN THE DIAMOND’, is significant for so many reasons. As the first UK rap LP to be released on legendary label Motown Records, there’s a weight of expectation many artists would struggle to live up to. However, across the 15 trailblazing productions, it’s something the Croydon-hailing multi-hyphenate does seemingly with ease.
To celebrate its release, Jords runs through, track-by-track, album inspirations and lyrical nuances. Tap in below.
This is my statement piece. I always seem to work better when I’m angry, it’s a blessing and a curse. This is me channelling all that anger into my art and making a statement of intent.
"Drill vs Grime"
For me, this is a conversation starter, whilst also being an extension of the conversation I had with Lil Sykes when we were in the studio creating it. I remember seeing the conversation around Dave and Stormzy's song “Clash”, and thinking this is definitely something I’d like to explore. But to me, drill is a child of grime; it works perfectly.
"Rice & P's"
This song is one of the first we made for the album, and the moment I realised the artistry had levelled up. It was inspired by real life, running from the feds and calling up my mum on the trap phone.
I’ve always wanted to work with Cashh. I’ve been a fan of his for years. Being able to create with him was an honour.
In my head, “Nervous Riddim” reminds me of being in the ends, witnessing or being part of a crazy situation, and “iPray” is about having to go to church the next day. The duality is something that we’ve all had to grow up with. Miles From Kinshasa and Wretch 32 understood the assignment, and not being biased, this is my favourite Wretch verse of all time. “It's mad having no shoes until you see a man with no feet”. Just, wow.
"FIST IN THE SKY"
This song is, for me, a centrepiece of the album. It’s the fight, the struggle, the strength, the vulnerability, the beauty, the grit, the blackness, all in one song. It’s a track that speaks through affirmations.
It’s crazy that Masego was the first feature to be part of the album. Kadiata did it more than enough justice too, we recorded his verse in Brighton. Masego’s involvement was a full circle moment, as in 2019, I sneaked on stage to watch him perform at Ends Festival. 12 months later, we have a song together. Life comes at you fast.
Toddla T went sick with this beat. Kranium’s original verse was a lot filthier, it was hilarious; I wish it came out. Working with another artist I grew up listening to, the 16 year old Jordan would be happy.
Where do I begin with “MoBay”? It’s the opening song of side B, and the same vocal sample we used in “ANCESTORS”. There’s always a thread. “MoBay” is my expression of love in its purest form. I have a lot of love to give and not a lot of time to give it, so I enjoy expressing it.
"(Not) A Love Song"
This is a personal favourite of mine. It’s one of the first songs I performed playing the piano and rapping. Playing the piano is therapeutic to me. I feel like this is the other side of "MoBay”. If “MoBay” is the dance in the middle of party, “(Not) A Love Song” is the hug at the end.
This is the last song we recorded for the album. Bea, Mike Brainchild and I were in the studio jamming and Freemonk happened to press record; it all made sense. In the album’s context, this part is where we really start to explore different forms of love.
I love this song, it sounds like love. Thea’s love for her son shines through. I wanted to soundtrack the feeling of falling in love and how scary yet beautiful it can be. Thea and Bea did it justice. I’m happy my grandad gets a moment too, that was one of my last conversations with him.
This song is my favourite. When I made it, I started to feel the weight of pressure lifting off my shoulders. You can’t hear it, but at the end when I’m playing the piano, I’m crying. It was the first time I’d cried in ages. Contextually, the verse at the end is me speaking about how I want a daughter and about how I’m afraid to have a son because I’m afraid of raising someone like myself.
This was meant to be the outro and I had so much to get off my chest. The line “Caged birds singing in rooms with glass ceilings” could sum up the whole album.
"The Pot Of Gold"
This sounds like the end credits. We made the original demo in 2018, and it felt like a song that needed to be a film outro, riding into the Californian sunset. That image will stay in my mind for a long time. It feels like the hope after the pain, and the rainbow after the rain.