Jake Ryan: Space Cowboy

The original good ol’ boy, a hip-hop Willie Nelson

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Montana Hip-Hop

Helena hip-hop purveyor Jake Ryan, one-man band, has a new six-piece EP out called Space Cowboy. He plays all the instruments including piano and guitars, and handles all the wizardry of electronic manipulation. The exception is “Making Contact.” Ryan’s partner, Tyson Lunn (aka Nintendeaux), helped him produce that one.

On the title cut, Ryan delves into what it’s like to be ostracized. He likens himself to outlaw cowboy singers, choosing “the original good ol’ boy, a hip-hop Willie Nelson” as one description of himself. It’s got unsettling UFO movie music at the intro, and a slow, dreamy pace underneath the rap.

Abruptly, the tune segues into the quiet and bluesy slide-guitar riff of “Back on the Map.” Ryan adds harmonica accompaniment. He proceeds to opine about the laid-back way of things in Montana, where doors are unlocked and there’s some respect for privacy, and how it’s changing due to drugs.

He raps on the meth problem, calling it “homemade redneck cocaine”; yet, in spite of drugs, he boasts that we still know how to party, only with booze, weed and music.

From its ominous opening, “Dead Man Walking” is disquieting. Galvanized by a true story, Ryan raps about a small-time criminal who graduates into heavy drug use and spirals out of control. Guests Evrgrn and Illest Uminati share vocals on this one.

Georgia’s Bubba Sparxxx is featured on “Making Contact,” and OverTime vocalizes on “Dreams Come True.”

Visit facebook.com/JakeRyanMT.

– Mariss McTucker