Interview: Hinx Jones

One part of the Hinx Jones duo: Lonegevity works his set during Broad Ripple Music Fest.

Hinx Jones is a working man’s hip-hop duo. They’re the wordsmiths behind the realest, most relatable poetry set to music that I’ve heard in a long time. Their debut album, The Eleven Piece, covered common problems such as relationship woes, self-actualization and that feeling when you just don't care. But what sets them apart from other word artists of the same genre is the empathy with which they address the issues. No message is sugar-coated, and every single rhyme is 100 percent real. Hinx Jones is on a mission. And that mission is to make life better, one step at a time.

When The Eleven Piece dropped on Indianapolis a year ago, Hinx Jones was simply trying to get their name out.

“Not everyone knows that I only moved to Indianapolis three years ago this November, and [Hinx Jones partner] Gritts just moved here from Anderson in June,” explains Lonegevity, producer and emcee for the duo.

Their upcoming sophomore album, Frozen Liquor, will focus less on scene authority and more on creativity and accessibility.

The Eleven Piece was simply designed to introduce us to Indianapolis and the scene around here, which it did. We love this city, but our goal is to do more than tour Indianapolis. It always has been, and that’s what we hope to accomplish with this project,” adds Lonegevity.

A year after their debut, with established street cred and an exponentially larger network of friends and associates, the duo is preparing an album that is for the people, by the people.

“We’ve grown a lot since our last project. Even though it’s rooted in the same, the upcoming project has a lot more jams. You need the people to be able to get into it and make it their own. That’s really what we’ve focused on the last few months, song-wise. I love the flow on Frozen Liquor. I love our guest features, and I love how sonically it moves together,” says Lonegevity.

Frozen Liquor handles its content as delicately and truthfully as its predecessor through amicable beats and relevant messages that are easy to connect with. The light shines brightly on Gritts this time around, showcasing his singing voice on many tracks. The album is filled with attention-catching moments that keep the album light and engaging while sandwiching in important points about life and its lessons.

What began in March of 2011 as a followup EP to The Eleven Piece ended up expanding into an unexpected project lasting seven months. Lonegevity happened to be working at length with spoken-word artist/MC/beatboxer Tony Styxx on an album called It’s Bigger Than Me at the time. As a result of his devotion to the entire production of the album with Styxx, Lonegevity decided to slow down work on the Hinx Jones EP and focus instead on a full-length project for later in the fall.

Along the way, Lonegevity has kept busy with Bringing Down The Band, a hip-hop blog and brand devoted to sharing hip-hop culture and happenings from around the world. Indianapolis is a major focus.

“We share everything from local happenings and artist projects, as well as anything felt to be a good representation of the idea. I try to expose greatness that others may not know of; we’ve helped sponsor 12 projects, thrown events, held contests, and have live photos and film of many shows and performances,” he tells me.

The release of Frozen Liquor will coincide with another project Lonegevity is involved in called #BeatsAndBreakfast. What started as a joke on Twitter between Lonegevity and local emcee Skittz morphed into nearly four months of weekly Sunday morning get-togethers with producers and rappers from across the city.

“It’s a unique idea because it’s not just Skittz and me; we’ve had as many as 11 people over for festivities. Everybody contributes by bringing some food, the producers collaborate and make a beat (sometimes with live instrumentalists), and then we write and record the same day. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s our way of building some camaraderie between Indianapolis artists,” notes Lonegevity.

Frozen Liquor is available everywhere (iTunes, Bandcamp, and physical copies) today. In celebration, Hinx Jones is hosting a listening party for the release tonight at 10 p.m. before Take That Tuesdays at Coaches Tavern downtown with DJ MetroGnome. A formal release show and performance (coinciding with the release of #BeatsAndBreakfast) will take place before the end of the year, though no dates have been announced at this time.