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Saturday May 21st

UNC and Miami Law grad Lex Jordan plans to drop sixth album this month

Jordan’s older brother, Johnny Brown, however, said his sibling’s uniqueness was apparent before adolescence.

“Lex just stands out, period. In all honesty, there’s nothing that is average about him. He isn’t one that says, ‘I’m going to follow the leader,’” Brown said. “Lex definitely beats to the rhythm of his own drum. It’s like putting an orange leaf on a black page.”

Jordan’s bloodline runs deep into North Carolina on his mother’s side — she was also born and raised in Raleigh. His father moved to the United States from Nigeria as an adult and instilled in Jordan a love for a wide range of music, including Latin and Caribbean music, and Brown always encouraged Jordan to take an interest in the arts as a child.

Jordan played the viola for years growing up but wasn’t able to read music until he was taught at Cary Academy. Beginning recording as a teenager under the name Lexicon, Jordan attended UNC as a Carolina Covenant scholar and continued to Miami Law after graduation. He’s since moved back to Raleigh in hopes of taking the February bar exam.

Jordan also boasts a burgeoning musical career, with several music videos, singles and five albums to his name. His sixth effort, The Rising Sun, is set to be released at the end of November.

Jordan’s musical influences are diverse, and the inspiration translates in his music. True to his roots, he incorporates genres such as blues, bluegrass and Latin music, blended into hip-hop, hinting at the artist’s diverse background established by growing up in the South.

Understandably, Lexicon designed his forthcoming album to feel like home.

“I wanted The Rising Sun to feel like you’re riding around North Carolina. Even though I have all of these influences, it sounds like North Carolina,” Jordan said. “We aren’t New York — we’re well below the Mason-Dixon Line, and we aren’t Atlanta. I made it to sound like Durham and Raleigh, what I know and where I’m from.”

Thematically, Jordan said the album is about overcoming obstacles and remaining true to one’s origins, and the name Lexicon is particularly important to him. As a child, Jordan’s mother instructed him to write down 100 words from the dictionary every day, and the presence of his name in the word “lexicon” caught Jordan’s eye. Appreciating the importance of an extensive vocabulary to a rapper’s toolbox, the rapper warmed to the name nearly immediately.

Jordan’s peers have always noticed his penchant for hard work. Hunter Bryson, a friend of Jordan’s, said Jordan’s work ethic defines the professional and musical facets of his life.

“He just works nonstop. I think that music for him is a great way to channel some of his thoughts and emotions,” Bryson said.

“He’s lived a hard life, and I’ve never met someone as motivated to succeed as him.”

@trevlenz

arts@dailytarheel.com



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