Artist Growth

Zelgin Jackson makes great friends of hip-hop and country on new album All You Need Is Love

The lyrical delivery is rap, and so is the beat, a lot of the settings, the urban themes and scenes, some explicit lyrics here and there, and the action.

It is, no mistake, rap.

But the rap bass line is acoustic guitar, the flow is slower, the lines between the rhymes are longer, and the melodies, Zelgin Jackson’s smooth, mellow baritone voice, all combine to make it totally, awesomely country.

No mistake about it.

Zelgin, from Richmond, Virginia, is a social media influencer with a following of 2 million and is a rising star in hip-hop and R&B, but his new album, despite a title from the Beatles, All You Need Is Love, is country.

“In the past I’ve worked on mostly rap and R&B projects,” he said, “and this is my first time entering the country lane, but there definitely will be more projects after it.”

“And, yeah,” he said. “I had fun with it. Yep.”

And, yeah, no mistake about it, the 12 tracks are great listening, the kind that can make you laugh out loud when you recognize familiar elements from different universes that combine to make something new, something delightful.

“I grew up listening to country music, but I’ve never tried to make my own country songs,” he said.

Until, about a year and a half ago, he was writing music and going through beats when he discovered a BeatStars page for Beats in the Backyard, where he found the beat that became “16 Minutes,” the lead song on the album.

“That’s one of the first country songs I ever wrote. I just clicked on the beat, liked it and started to write,” he said. “It was fairly easy to write over the beat. It’s similar to writing a normal rap song, just with a bridge, and the chorus is more repetitive. But it was fairly easy for me to adapt.”

Did a doubleshift day for the pay

So I’m getting’ off late gettin’ off late

It’s been a minute since I seen your pretty face

So I’m speedin’ to your place speedin’ to your place

16 minutes on the freeway baby 16 minutes till you with me baby

The song, and the video on his YouTube channel are as enjoyable as a country breeze.

Before beginning his visit to country, he was listening to music by Zack Bryan, Morgan Wallen and other contemporary country artists and, “I was inspired.”

“It was only going to be a few songs, but I kept writing more and more and then I had enough for an album, so that’s what I put out.”

The Beatle reference in the title song, “All You Need Is Love,” is deliberate. One of his favorite elementary school teachers was a Beatles fan, and “she used to play that song in my elementary school class.”

“So, it was a play off that. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Beatles fan, but I like some of their melodies.”

The chorus in the song even takes the Beatles melodic line for an iteration of “all you need is love.”

As for the name of the album, he originally wanted to name it “Virginia Is For Lovers,” but there were obstacles.

“That’s pretty heavily trademarked, and I already had the song named, so we decided to go with All You Need Is Love, and it worked.”

He will stay in the country lane for a little while longer.

“My next two new singles — I’ll probably drop this summer — will definitely be country songs.”

Although his social media career has taken off, music is his heart.

“Music is my passion. Right now, I’m pretty big on social media, TikTok especially, so I make content. But music is what I have the most fun doing. I’m always working on music. Every day.”

He put out many tracks during 2023. For about half of it, he said, he was dropping a song almost every other week. He doesn’t plan on releasing at that pace in 2024, but he has already produced the 12 tracks of “All You Need Is Love.”

He also plans on more videos, more than he did in 2023.

“Be on the lookout for new music,” he said, “because I’m always ready to drop more music and more videos. So, stay tuned.”

Stay tuned. Connect to Zelgin Jackson on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.

All You Need Is Love
Amazon Music
Apple Music
Famous Birthdays
United Masters

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