I couldn't count how many times I saw #FreeKeon on my Twitter timeline the first half of this year. And I won't lie and say that I knew exactly who Keon was, (because I didn't), but what I did know was that several people wanted him free.

Fast forward to Upstream Music Fest in early June, and I see DJQJ with a familiar face.

It was Keon. And after 3 years, he was finally free. "Welcome back," I said.

It's crazy to think that was only 3 months ago. Since his release, the Tacoma native has presented a handful of tracks and features, displaying a work ethic that never actually went anywhere.

Keon Simms continued dropping bars even while behind them.

He opened up :30's Winter 2016 EP Street Pharmacist with a track called Get it Off. His EP 2018 came earlier that year, on his birthday, May 2nd. 3 tracks produced by DJQJ with a title reflecting his release year. Not to mention other verses and singles that surfaced throughout his time away.

With a strong team on the outside, the music kept moving. And on July 8th of this year, Keon dropped his first official visual since his release, Dawson Knight- directed First Day Out.

Keon takes the stage at the Tales From the T Release Party.

Keon takes the stage at the Tales From the T Release Party.

Just a few days later, I saw him perform live for the first time at Airport Tavern for the cassette release party celebrating Tales From the T, which he appeared on alongside many other notable Tacoma artists. Keon was the show's closer and a collective excitement rushed through the crowd as he took the stage. There was not a more hype set than his performance that night. He was back, and here to stay. That show solidified the notion.

Keon's flow is reminiscent of a young Curren$y. It's that smooth, laidback, Cadillac flow that comes at you in waves. It leads you to believe that he can rap through a full 24 hours, from the time he wakes to the moment he falls asleep. He's a storyteller whose demeanor presents him as way older than his early 20's.

No cap, but Keon Simms put me on to :30. I knew of the clique, no doubt, and always had respect for them, but I considered their music a bit too rough for my liking. Diving into Simm's discography, I discovered that their music goes. It goes hard, but it goes, nonetheless.

Although I can't always relate to the content, I appreciate hearing their unique perspectives. And their production is always on point, being sourced from DJQJ, Khris P, PHX, and in house :30 producers. It was mandatory that I put a few tracks in my rotation. 

I don't care what type of music you listen to, you just can't deny good production when you hear it.

Keon's latest release is another DJQJ produced hit entitled Space. With Q on the beat and Ke on the verse, you just can't go wrong.

"I need space when I pull up in that foreign..."

He starts out, gliding over the enlightening soundscape which reminds you of a night drive on a starry night. And although I drive a Chevy, I feel it. We all need space. Click that play button below to hear the track and keep your eyes on Keon Simms. His debut, self titled album is set to drop sooner than later, and I have a strong feeling it's going to be a pleasure to hear.

So once again, welcome back Keon. It's only up from here.


Akunna AmaefuleComment