music in the park san jose

.A Cup of “Folgers” With Yonex Jones

Yonex Jones wakes up the city on recent single “Folgers”

music in the park san jose

At the age of 20, Yonex Jones had a choice to make: either go down a path that could eventually lead to life on the street, or go back to school. Instead, Yon took a middle route and pursued music.

Jones started rapping at the age of 15 as a way to pass time while in juvenile hall. He didn’t decide to take it seriously until a few years later. 

“I started rapping when I was a kid, you know, just playing around,” he says. “When I was in juvie, rapping was like a big thing in there amongst all the kids and [that] is when I found a passion for it.”

Since then, Jones has become a recognizable figure around San Jose, first for selling imported snacks from a box truck labeled “Tankshit,” then for expanding into a storefront business that mixes corner store with street wear shop and venue.

All the while, Jones has made a case for himself as one of San Jose’s most recognizable rappers. At the beginning of 2023, he released one of his strongest tracks yet, the bouncy single “Folgers.”

“I recently started drinking coffee in the morning, so basically they’re the inspiration cup,” he says. “Pretty much been three weeks of coffee and three weeks of Folgers.”

The song’s chorus may be an ode to the familiar coffee brand, but the first lyrics came from another morning experience.

“The idea of the song came from a funky morning, you know, just like pissed off,” he says. “That’s what the first bar comes from: ‘weight of the world on my shoulders.’ When I be upset, I just be like screaming and singing and chanting, and that’s pretty much literally where it came from. The coffee was just a new thing on my mind like, ‘Oh, I drink coffee now.’”

Once he had the song idea, he knew just the spot to record: South Bay studio the Slap Trap.

“Shout out to Rick D, shout out DJ Habanero and shout out Slap Trap and everybody else who is over there.” 

As an artist, Yonex cites three rappers in particular as inspiration: Tupac, Mac Dre and Lil Boosie. On songs like “Folgers,” listeners can hear Tupac’s confident charm alongside Lil Boosie’s bouncy energy—all with a recognizable Bay Area stank face. 

However, Jones adds that he is equally inspired by everyday working people as he is by rappers.

“A huge inspiration to me is people like the tamale lady,” he says. “The tamale lady don’t speak English, came from another country and raise[s] her kids in a respectable household. I’ve seen it happen very often where the kids end up superseding what I got as an American full English speak[er]. That’s inspiring, because that lets me know you can do anything if you really use what piece of talent you got.”

“Folgers” is the first single to come from an upcoming album Jones says will be called Legendary Locals. There is also plenty of other new music on the way this year as well.

“I got like 100 unreleased songs and they all got projects. I got at least five projects ready for 2023,” he says. “2023 ain’t ready for me.”

Though college wasn’t in the cards, he says when it came to making rap music he decided to take it as seriously as an education. 

“College wasn’t my thing so I was like, if I treat rap like college, if I just grind grind grind, be broke as fuck but still grind it out and not party it out, then shit should start working differently. Took about six years before it started working out.”

Already, Jones has proven himself to have the work ethic, charisma and image to stand out in the rap game. With singles like “Folgers,” it’s just a matter of time before the wider rap world knows the name Yonex Jones.

“I work harder than all of them period,” Jones claims. “Ima say Google and technology damaged the Silicon Valley in the ’90s, so anybody in the 2000s is damn near hopeless when it comes to living like real life. We’re like dinosaurs, when the power cuts out just know we got hella more practice than y’all man. Y’all might be good on the internet, but we do it in real life.”

Folgers

Yonex Jones

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