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Justin Henry - 'Tales Of A Rebel!'

Written on 03/20/2023
Natalee Gilbert

Justin Henry's Tales Of A Rebel! is an outpour of strong-willed lyricism and versatile flows. The project truly confirms the many talents and unwavering focus he possesses. 


Classified as a PhD student of music, Justin Henry takes a page from his membrane and tells resonating stories about love, loss, and perseverance. As he makes sense of all the blurred lines, the MC starts to see things clearer. In an instant, he exposes society for what it along with fake individuals. By staying in his own lane, the well-versed rapper excels straight to victory. Other records on Tales Of A Rebel highlight his thought process and his fighting spirit during these events. In short, the rapper says he'll continue "choking the devil tryna block me from heaven" via "Can't Save The World."


The project is backed by R&B, soulful, boom-bap, jazzy, and trap production. Similarly, video games, intergalactic and ambient arrangements also play a part in the beat construction. Tales Of A Rebel! is a great collection of records that'll make you feel liberated and inspired to seize the day. Moreover, it'll give listeners an ounce of hope when nothing seems possible to achieve. 

"Pocket Full Of Friends," "Off Topic," and "Appreciation" is about Justin Henry's weary of trusting others too soon. Rather than getting overly close to someone, he keeps them at a distance. In the first song mentioned, he even states that he'd rather have a budding relationship with money than humankind. "Who can I rely on here? Knowing damn well it's not you," he raps. Justin Henry also spits, "Only friends in my pocket" and "Since I got big Ben who helps me set trends/And I'm a keep sealing till my whole family wins."


Songs like "Neva Know," "ShineShineShine," and "Off Topic" bring attention to his undeniable pen game, tenacity, and work ethic. Justin Henry's artistry results in high recognition and opportunities to wow all crowds alike. He's more than certain that his words can move the whole nation.  


In "ShineShineShine," he raps, "Knowing what I write could change someone's whole life." He also spits, "What I look like not taking advantage of this sh*t/Maybe I can go and change the world."

I got an excellent opportunity to cover Justin Henry's project and get a better understanding of its creative process. Read below: 


What would you say was the most fun about making this album? 

Just being able to create a body of work. I still believe in taking my time with music. Sometimes it happens fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes nothing. 

It was fun, and I'm in my zone again and ready for the people to hear it and grow with me on this journey. From producing, writing, and recording, it was just fun as I got to say things on people's minds.


How does this album differ from your previous work? 

I wanted to take everything about today's music and fuse it with my life experiences. Every record hits hard..sonically no one is doing what I'm doing- it's made for arean's, and I still need to do my first solo tour. Everything is just better.


What kind of 'sound,' production-wise, did you have in the back of your mind before entering the studio for this album? 

The idea was to turn this signature One Rebel sound up to 10. That separates the Kanye's, Kendricks, Max Martin's, ILLangelo, Timbaland, Drake's, Tyler, Pharrell(Neptunes), Metro, Cole, Jay-Z, Future Dr. Dre's, ASAP, etc..from everyone else... They have a signature sound. I'm a PhD student of music. I'm coming in knowing you have to come this way to get this sound. You must come here to get this sound even when I produce for an artist. I'm one of the best, if not the best.


Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?

Honestly, it's a feeling. I usually have a strong idea or am still trying to figure out what I will do. 

Either way, you're going to get some feelings or emotions. Whether that's in the music, the visuals, or the aesthetic, you will feel something good, bad, correct, or wrong. Also, collaboration...that's my producer side of me. At one point, I was working alone, which was great.


You can only choose one song off your project as a theme song: "Off Topic," "Neva Know," "Time For You," or "Can't Save The World" -- which one do you choose and why?

"Neva Know." It sums up my life, your life, and everyone else. You only know once you make an actual effort. I know. I've been at the bottom. Most people never try. Even if they do, they don't honestly believe they can accomplish what they want..that's why they fail. Plus, it's an anthem..this record is an anthem.


The meaning behind your album's name: Tales Of A Rebel!

This album is about my life experiences and thoughts packed into an album that revolves around sleeping and experiencing it and waking up out of it. I've always considered myself a rebellious spirit but within reason. I always played on living my life on my terms. Everybody wants to live like that, but few do. It requires sacrifice.


Listen to the album below: