Cleveland rapper with the vintage name keeps his eyes on the here and now

“We R War” builds on an ethereal, percolating beat laced with vintage digital chimes appropriate for the track's creator: Atari Jones. But while the musical backdrop might hint at the past, the lyrics are sharply focused on the here and now. “Who can I ask why the world's screwed up?” the Cleveland native raps before adding, “Don't fuck with Donald Trump.”

Most recently, Jones, who performs at Granero Lounge on Friday, Aug. 25, debuted Promi6, a two-track collaborative EP recorded alongside Toronto producer Hudson Alexander. Here, Jones weaves his way through “a world full of promise” on the title cut before easing into “Really Really,” a hazy mish-mash of hand drums and space-age synthesizers where the MC pauses to consider a slightly darker future. “Hope to see a million 'fore it kill me,” he slurs. In his music, Jones strives for the former even as the latter keeps his perspective grounded, suggesting it's easier to embrace possibility equipped with the knowledge it can all be snatched away in a wink.