Every corner of the country tells its own story as part of the larger American experience. Nestled in the heart of Georgia, occupying approximately 395 sq. miles lies Jones County, the place Demun Jones proudly calls home. Demun is a rapper, singer, songwriter and independent artist whose music is infused with rustic instrumentals, hip-hop fundamentals and exceptional lyricism.
“I found my individuality by rapping over the acoustic guitar,” he notes. “I didn’t even mean for it to be unique, it was just, me. I grew up surrounded by hayfields listening to N.W.A. and Ozzy Osbourne. If you throw that in a blender, Demun Jones is what you get. Once I’d lived a bit, lost a bit, won some, and experienced my fair share, I could tell my own story. I’d never been to Compton, but I had an idea of what it was like from listening to West Coast rap. So, that inspired me, ‘What if I write about living in Jones County in a creative way?’ I’m giving you country stories told through the lens of rap music.”
Demun grew up the third of six children, with two older brothers who first introduced him to the music of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and AC/DC - who he experienced as his first live concert. His mom would spin the classics of the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Jim Croce and Jones County’s very own, Otis Redding. Demun recalls, “For as long as I can remember, there was always music in our home.”
During the time of waiting for music videos to air on Friday evenings and building his own library of favorite artists, some of which included Tupac, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Johnny Cash, at the age of fifteen Demun began writing his own ryhmes. He admits, “I couldn’t sing like Otis Redding or play the guitar like Jimmy Page, but I knew I could try to rap like the Bestie Boys.” After having his stereo stolen from his car, Demun would ride around tapping a beat on his window and freestyling ryhmes to entertain his friends.
From an early age, Demun was all to familiar with the meaning of hard work. He worked as a brick mason along side his father and brothers during the hot summer days of his school years and continued early on during the pursuit of his dreams in music.
“My dad has been laying bricks since he was twelve. I didn’t do it out of necessity, but he did. I lived a much different childhood than my parents did because he and my mom worked so hard. I wanted to be like him. He wasn’t drinking beer and watching football; he was working, laying bricks, and doing whatever it took to make sure we were provided for. There aren’t enough young people learning how to do this, but it’s so important. Every building has a foundation, and someone has to do the dirty work. It’s powerful to be able to build something with your hands.”
As Demun continued to grind in the construction world, momentum started to build in the music world as well. In 2014, Demun dropped his breakout single “The Muddy Muddy”, paving the way for his debut album Jones Countyhighlighted by “Boondocks”, “Tannerite” & “Rahhh” He gained even more ground with his sophomore effort, 2016’s #Beast album, which included the standout singles “Backyard Lullaby” & “Bronco” [feat. Jelly Roll].
In 2017, as a fully independent artist, Demun continued his inexhaustible hot streak, releasing four more albums including Jones In Ya Speaker , Demun , Southern Son , and Family First & Target Practice . Additionally, “Campfire Cologne” featuring Upchurch, received an astounding 31+ million Spotify streams, while “Feeling Good” generated 18 million Spotify streams and more than 34 million views on YouTube. Furthermore, Demun had numerous successful collaborations, including the Moonshine Bandits’ “Outback (Extended Remix)” generating 20+ million Spotify streams, and “WW2.0” [feat. Adam Calhoun and Upchurch], which accumulated over 20 million Spotify streams. Simultaneously, Demun continued to packed houses, sell out venues, and meet/greet his fans while touring across the nation.
“The lyrics are very important to me,” he notes. “I love the beats, but I’ve got something to say. I want someone from far away to hear my music and be like, ‘Damn, so that’s what Jones County is like?’ I’m a dedicated husband to my wife and father to my daughters. What comes out of my mouth goes into their ears. I’m not always perfect, but I’m aware of what I’m saying. Something I’m most proud of is you can listen to most of my songs with the entire family in the car. I’ve gone through dark times in my life, but I don’t want to relive all of that over and over through my music. I want it to bring joy, as a reflection of what’s inside me. I may make a listener shed a tear from time to time, just from being real, but I’d much rather the listener be inspired to smile, want to dance, or to find some gratitude & comfort for where they are in life.”
He closed out 2022 with the Target Practice EP. “Stay Down” [feat. Brodnax & Adam Calhoun] accumulated over 12 million collective streams. He kicked off 2023 with a series of releases. First up, he reignites the fan favorite “Straw Hat” with a music video. His saucy flow simmers between the pluck of a banjo and a head-nodding beat. The title, of course, nods to his now-instantly recognizable logo as he promises, “You can do it all in a straw hat.”
“In Georgia, it can get to be 108-plus degrees,” he says. “As a young man, my job was masonry work, outside, burning to death, in the unforgiving Georgia heat. On the hottest days of the year, we’d wear a straw hat to keep the sun off our necks and shoulders. At the same time, the straw hat and beard has become the cornerstone to my brand. That was totally unintentional, but I’ll take it.”
Just as a mason would do, Demun Jones is doing the same with his music by building a sturdy legacy atop an unshakable foundation.
“Music and art are magic,” he leaves off. “You might not understand what a painting is, but it will give you a feeling. I’ve stayed at it, grown slowly and steadily over time. I haven’t stepped on anyone, haven’t stolen from anyone, and haven’t burned any bridges. This is my life, and this is what I am. I know there is no man alive who can step on stage, and perform their songs with more passion and energy than Demun Jones. I have so much love and gratitude to all my fans, because without them I would not be where I am today.”