By Ari Andrade
From the depths of the Salem music scene arises an unlikely and unsung hero, Randy Jones, aka Jonezy Artwork. A rapper or musician he is not, yet he has proudly contributed to us in more ways than we can acknowledge. Jonezy does it all for his daughter, his wife (who is is high school sweetheart – awww) and for the love of art. Randy got his start all the way back in 2004 at the age of 18 in his favorite medium, acrylic paintings. At the time, he was exhibiting his art in galleries throughout California. His unique style with blends of vibrant colors seem to fit in well in the California art scene. “When I create my artwork, with every single painting, I am listening to hip hop music. I feel it brings out my best work and energy,” Jonezy declares about his musical influences on his masterpieces.
Jonezy has graced several notable figures in hip hop with acrylic monuments such as: Paul Wall, Yelawolf, Pittsburg Slim, and both of Snoop Dogg’s sons Cordell and Kalvin Broadus. His contributions to Salem legends include: Deshaun Jordan, Terell Baker, and Kid Espi. I first met and took notice of Jonezy Artwork at the “NorthWest Monthlys,” recurring hip hop shows curated and hosted by ThatKidCry (Aaron Nash), at The Triangle in South Salem. Randy was a repeat guest, including the farewell NW Monthly that I co-hosted with Nash, my long time collaborator.
The second time I was introduced to his art was at the Afroman show at Kraftworks downtown. And, Taproot Lounge downtown proudly displays a large Jonezy original on its walls.
The young acrylic painter has contributed to the Salem hip hop scene as much if not more than the active members of the hip hop community. He adds a distinct flair that cannot be duplicated to every event, which he participates. Jonezy most certainly is an untouchable asset to the city of Salem, more than he’s given credit for. You can quite literally feel the positivity radiantly flowing from his presence at a live art display. I look forward to seeing the size of his footprint and his artistic progression by the end of the year. His momentum is snowballing toward infamy faster than Charlie Sheen can say “winning” after three lines of disco dust.
Randy Jones has opened an Urban Contemporary Art Gallery with his buddy AKDI, his current and most grand endeavor. His gallery “Lower Division” is located downtown Salem in Salem Arts building, below the Victory Club at 155 Liberty St. NE. I recently went to an event there back in January that offered free booze and snacks, art raffles, the divine scratching work from Dj Swone (Sam Wilcox), beatboxing from Robotic Torres (Charlie Torres), bartended by Fahari, and fabulous displays of artwork. There was free entry and it brought together the community to celebrate all of these outlets. Salem really showed out that night. You can catch Jonezy downtown in his art gallery, or painting for major players in the hip hop game, and most definitely on my next show extravaganza. Everyone in Salem, businesses and residents alike, deserve to have a Jonezy original on their wall.