Shadow Temple Records is gearing up for a big run of releases coming up, the first of which being Adolf Jyn’s long anticipated Musty EP. We sat down with Jyn leading up to his release party this Sunday in Detroit to talk about his creative process, what to expect from the project, and how it all fits into his artistic catalogue in general.
B: Could you introduce yourself: your name, what you do, etc.
AJ: I am Adolf Jyn, I’m an artist. I rap, I sing, I stay on beats, yeah.
B: Tell us about your work as an artist leading up to this project, maybe comparing then and now.
AJ: The music I was making before this, stuff like “Sword for Hire,” I’d say it was definitely more…I don’t want to say it was unfocused, more drifting I guess. It was young, it didn’t have a lot of cares, the world was still kinda small. I’m still an adventurer at heart, there’s still a lot of shit I gotta see, but it was definitely more of a roaming, drifting type of music. 2am walking around with nowhere to go for real, not being able to sleep and waking up in the middle of the night to just roam around. The writing was happening through all of that, I’d say that inspired a lot of my older stuff.
B: If you had to describe your artistic approach, or yourself as an artist, what would you say?
AJ: Mainly feeling-based, I’m not really able to force the work out. If I hear a beat, if I feel a beat, the gears are already turning, it works for a period of time and I try to catch the image. I almost wish I had some kind of routine; light a join, light three candles, sit at my alter, and it’s all there. It would be cool to have this definite process where I could just pull some shit out. And there are some things that I could do to put a fire under it (like smoking a joint), but I really just feel it out. Hear the song, jump around a lil bit, throw some freestyles on there, catch some words, and it all comes together.
B: How does this latest project relate to the stuff you made in the past, and how would you describe it?
AJ: The Musty EP, it’s kind of a funny thing. Some of the stuff on there is older, a few of them I recorded maybe two and a half or three years ago. When I first recorded some of them, I didn’t know how to feel about it because I was still growing as an artist. I thought, “this isn’t what rap be sounding like, this not what people be talking about,” so I didn’t necessarily appreciate my work, like I almost didn’t know how cool it was (laughs) nah but I don’t know. I just didn’t realize the depth of it at the time. But it’s grown on me, I’ve been listening to it for the past few years now and I’ve become a lot more appreciative of all that past work now.
That really mirrors my artistic journey overall, it’s really a journey of me coming to terms with myself as a person and as an artist. Most of my music is talking about how I feel about shit, some about my battles with the world, this new stuff doesn’t meander as much, it’s a little more focused and in some ways abrasive, or at least direct. It’s really me tackling some things, calling the universe out on some bullshit. This project is just, it’s me going rogue, going Itachi from Naruto.
B: Is there anything specific about this project that you think people should know?
I feel like this project has grown largely because of the people around me, they’ve really watered the seed and have continued to push me to keep going. I went on a hiatus for a little bit, tryna figure out what the hell I was doing in this universe, and my homies just kept telling me I had to get back in.
So in my eyes, this project is really a thank you, because if it was just me, I probably would’ve never dropped this shit. I can be pretty hypercritical of myself at times, but the people that stay believing in me are the reason that I keep going.
B: Anything else that you’d like to mention?
AJ: About the name, it’s called the Musty EP, because this shit stank. It’s been sittin’, and it ain’t showered, and it’s about to be dirty. On that note, there’s also another upcoming project, the Musty LP, that includes a lot of different tracks from around the same time frame, just two different compilations that I thought would fit well with one another. Tracks like “Sword for Hire,” will be on there, and it will kind of be a sequel of sorts to the EP.