Speaking ahead of its release, Jordan Dennis said: “Each track encompasses either a film or character that you would typically only see on TV or the big screen. I kind of just tried to focus on how each beat felt, or who it felt like, and built the tracks from there. Picking people and films which I felt were iconic but also picking characters and traits that I felt I could relate to or would want to emulate in some way.” From 007 to Bruce Lee, Jordan Dennis sets the bar high in channeling those personas, coming correct with both smooth and energetic flows. In fact, throughout HDMI1, he cherry-picks qualities he views as tailor made for bringing his artist persona to life, switching up his approach to fit the sound or message of each track. And it’s a creative flexibility which shines again in the execution of the project’s first video release.
The clip is a mashup music video recreating three iconic scenes from classic films and splicing them with snippets of tracks from HDMI1. ‘Kung Fu Gazi’, ‘Bruce Lee’ and ‘Deshawn Connery’ each pair iconic imagery with an effervescent rap performance. “I picked these three tracks alongside my guy Johnny Yayo from 76m Films who did the video. We felt that these three tracks encompassed the whole sound of the project as well as being able to provide strong recognisable imagery. We tried to pick classic scenes from each movie that we could put our own spin on.”
The clip follows the release of the project’s lead single ‘Glide Freestyle’, a confident and energetic flip of Wu-Tang Clan’s ’93 classic ‘Tearz’. As well as this nod to 90s greats, Jordan Dennis rattles off a high calibre list of modern MCs that have inspired his style of expression. “J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Childish Gambino, Smino, J.I.D and Saba just to name a few. I just really appreciate the way they approach each beat with the flows, melodies and subject matter. Having that ability to paint pictures and tell my story kinda came naturally to me but was also the result of listening to J.Cole non-stop [laughs]. I just want people to be able to relate to my music no matter what the topic might be.” If HDMI1 is anything to by, that’s a quality that Jordan Dennis has in spades and (without giving too much away) by the end of the six track project he seems equally comfortable wearing a mask as he is wearing his heart on his sleeve.
Pencil it into your diary: HDMI1 is out on Friday. In the meantime, check out the trailer below: