Presented by SPIN
McKinley Dixon spent much of his childhood on the move. Born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1995, he shuttled back and forth between the DMV and Jamaica, Queens, and it was those singular New York experiences that really inspired him. He felt a kinship with the borough, a place that wasn’t quite home but felt more like it; the faces there looked like his in a way that just wasn’t true of Maryland. “It gave me kind of this sense of longing that really jump started my thinking about escapism through music,” he says.
The idea of longing and escape is central to his music, especially his forthcoming album, announcing this spring on City Slang Records. Pulling references from Toni Morrison in in Sun, I Rise, the first track out now, the writer Dixon has described as “the greatest rapper ever.” Morrison’s novels looked into American history to locate eruptions of longing and escape with the beautiful sweep and precision of her prose. That’s the energy Dixon tries to channel on this album.
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