American rapper, singer and songwriter Elmo Kennedy O’connor, known professionally as Bones has released his new album, “Dream Card.”
The 28-year-old is also the founder of the music collective TeamSESH.
Bones is known for his pioneering work in a sub-genres of hip-hop referred to as emo rap and trap metal. Since 2010, Bones has released an extensive discography and developed a large fan base.
Bones first started making music at the age of nine after his father purchased an iMac G3. He would download hip hop instrumentals from SoundClick and use the computer’s built-in microphone to record himself rapping, though it wasn’t until 2010 at the age of 16 that he would start releasing music online under the alias “Th@ Kid”.
After moving to Los Angeles, Bones connected with other artists he met online including Xavier Wulf, Chris Travis, and Eddy Baker, who at the time were members of the now semi-disbanded Raider Klan. He later officially changed his stage name to Bones in 2012.
Bones uploaded several albums in 2015 and headlined his first sold out show at House of Blues on March 4, 2015 before opening for electronic artist Shlohmo at The Fonda Theatre.
Bones was later featured on ASAP Rocky’s “Canal St.”, which was a remix of O’Connor’s song “Dirt”. The song later became O’Connor’s first feature on the Billboard charts.
Bones performed “Canal St.” with ASAP Rocky on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show, but was cut from the TV broadcast due to his refusal to censor some of the song’s lyrics while performing. Videos of the performance were made available online.
In May 2015, Bones and Greaf started releasing songs under a second side project called Oregontrail. The project is stylistically similar to Surrenderdorothy, but has been noted as having a “darker” and “rougher” tone.
It also follows a loose narrative related to the game of the same name which is also reflected in the artwork of the singles. Since 2015, the duo have released seven singles as Oregontrail.
Bones released 10 albums between 2015 and 2017. In 2016, he began releasing music under a new persona called Ricky A Go Go.
Bones uploaded five tracks in total to a SoundCloud account for this persona with the fifth one being uploaded in 2017. There’s a running joke in the description for each track as each one is the single for an album of a different name.
None of these albums have released. These tracks have a disco, funk, or synthwave production style with sung vocals. There is a sixth track titled “Countdown” that is not on this account but has been uploaded by several other users.
This track comes from the track “SeshRadio: Volume3” which is the final track on his PaidProgramming2 project. This was the official debut of the persona.
The Ricky A Go Go persona has made appearances on multiple other tracks in the Bones discography on various projects, most prominently the collaboration project DamagedGoods with Drew The Architect. However, a majority of these tracks still credit Bones as the artist.
Bones performed in KOKO, London, thus starting his first ever European tour, called the Deadboy on January 19, 2018. It took him to countries such as Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Italy.
Bones is a founding member of the collective Seshollowaterboyz, along with Xavier Wulf and Eddy Baker, with whom he often performs and collaborates.
The name of the collective is a mash-up of their self-releasing labels TeamSESH, Hollow Squad. Waterboyz and Healthy Boyz. They have performed at notable venues such as The Observatory in Santa Ana, California on November 13, 2015 and The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles on January 30, 2016. Chris Travis was a founding member of the group but left in 2019.
Although Bones is often considered to be one of the pioneers of the emo rap sub-genre, Bones has said that he has no specific genre, though has been characterized as cloud rap, experimental hip-hop and “shadow rap”.
Bones earlier music is a lot more futuristic (and is often compared to SpaceGhostPurrp’s) than his current music, which showcases production and vocal styles ranging from rapping, singing, and screaming.
Bones singing has been compared to grunge and emo, while his rapping has been compared sub-genres such as horrorcore and emo rap. He is also considered an early pioneer of trap metal.
Bones rarely talks about his musical influences, although during interviews he has mentioned Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire, Bootsy Collins, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell as influences.
Over the years of his music career, Bones helped underground hip hop develop into new styles and has been noted as “one of the most influential underground artists of the internet age”.
BONES Dream Card Album Tracklist: