HIDDEN GEMS OF LOWELL: Rapper Golden Landis Von Jones

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Rapper Golden Landis von Jones, also known as 24kGoldn on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music, is a senior at Lowell. He has opened for artists like Sage the Gemini, ShowBangerz and P-Lo. But before that, Landis von Jones got his start at DreamTeam, a local sneaker boutique where he first recorded his music. Landis von Jones continues to make music and collaborate with local artists.

All photos by Ethan Lei

Landis von Jones at DreamTeam.

What is your art form?

I’m an artiste. I’m a rapper, entrepreneur, master finesser, master of finessing, and public figure.

When did you start making music? How did you get into that?

I first started making music second semester of my sophomore year. I’d always just be freestyling for fun with my friends and they were like, “Wow, you’re actually really good at this.” So I came to DreamTeam and I talked to my big brother and my mentor Don, Paypaboy. He has a studio here and he was like, “Aight, let’s get you in the studio.” And that’s where I recorded my first song.

Can you talk about some of the biggest projects you’ve done?

This last weekend, I did two shows. Saturday I did this show called Flexicon which is like a collective show for up-on-the-rise Bay Area artists. I was fortunate enough to participate in that with Pre Pre Game and my homie Ben10k. On Sunday, I opened up for ShowBangerz, Sage the Gemini and P-Lo in Oakland, and that was really big. I sold a lot of tickets to that one. It was really hyped — you can ask anyone there.

Landis von Jones at DreamTeam.

Can you walk us through your music-making process?

Arguably more important than the lyrics these days, in hip hop and rap, is the beat. I’ll usually look for a beat first. I’ll get beats online, I have people sell them to me or I have friends custom make beats for me. Once you get the beat, it kind of just speaks to you. At least for me, it just speaks to me and the words flow out. I automatically know what to say. I can write a song in like 30 minutes or less.

What’s the shortest amount of time it’s ever taken you to write a song?

“Rhinestone Cowboy.” I wrote that in like 20 minutes. It just came to me and I knew exactly what to say.

What’s one of your favorite songs that you’ve made?

Probably “Rhinestone Cowboy.” There’s just so many layers. When I was making it, in each part there’d be three to five layers, so I’d be saying the same exact words, just with different melodies and different intonations, and ad libs. I’d do three different types of ad libs that just blended together. I love that song.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

One would definitely be Paypaboy, he’s just shown me that it’s possible to chase your dreams, make them into a reality, and get paid. It’s possible to be your own boss; it’s not a pipe dream; it’s achievable.

A$AP Rocky. I draw a lot of inspiration from him musically.

How has being at Lowell influenced your music career?

Lowell is a great platform for me to market to because everyone at Lowell has friends from other schools, so I can spread my music at Lowell and then it just blows up throughout the city. People I’ve never met before come up to me. Just at [the last] Battle of the Birds games, Ethan Lei brought his friend up to me and he was like, “Hey, you’re my favorite Soundcloud rapper. I love what you’re doing.” It’s nice to get recognized — to get recognition. Also Lowell keeps you sharp. It’s an academically challenging school so it keeps me sharp and about my wits.

Does Lowell’s heavy workload keep you from making more music?

Yeah, definitely. If I went to another school then I’d be able to make so much more music. It’s a trade-off. I definitely wish I could be making more music. But due to college applications, homework and other extracurriculars, I’ve kind of been slowing down lately. I have a lot of unreleased music that’s going to be coming out soon — lots of bangerz. Keep your eyes on the lookout.

Landis von Jones at DreamTeam.

What are your goals? Do you plan to pursue music in college?

I currently plan on going to college and getting a degree in business — major in business administration and minor in music production. Being an artist and being a rapper is a lot like being an entrepreneur. Being a rapper has helped sharpen my entrepreneurial skills. I’ve been an entrepreneur since sixth or seventh grade so that’s definitely helped me with my music skills. I definitely want to pursue both.

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Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I’ll be 27 years old, so I’m planning on being worth at least a million dollars. I see myself going on tour around America, selling merchandise, and selling innovative fan experiences. I see myself giving back more to my community. One project that I’m really passionate about — one of my goals — is that I want to teach financial fitness and financial literacy to minorities and people that live in low-income neighborhoods, because if you’re not passing on your generational wealth, your kids have to start over from scratch — from the beginning. A lot of people in these communities don’t know how to save money and don’t know strategies to save money to build their wealth.

Landis von Jones at DreamTeam.