Cody Cody Jones is an emcee from Pittsburgh who used to perform under the name Stillborn Identity. We last heard from him just about a year ago when he released Year of the Dog. Rap of the Month. Now he follows that up with his ambitious project, Follow Your Heart And You’ll End Up Alone.

For this project, Jones enlisted the help of several producers, including Proseed, ialive, C Money Burns, Naedon, Eric Yeschke, Vegas Gold, Joey Smooth, Jumbled, and himself. That might sound like a lot of cooks in the kitchen, but Jones manages to bring everything together and make the album flow under this umbrella of combining some underground boom bap with some lo-fi garage/punk and psychedelic rock. The result is an album that can be a little strange and trippy to listen at times, but still bangs throughout its weird moments. It’s an album that will have you nodding your head aggressively at one point, and then transition into something more spaced out, which might encourage you to lean back and let your mind wander, only to have the music turn on a dime and you sit right back up and start bopping your head again. Lyrically, Jones follows a similar vibe, moving from some good old fashioned shit talking to personal rhymes to moments of fantasy and what-if narratives. A song like “Space Button” plays out like a science fiction short story, and “The Last Working Dinosaur” imagines how generations of workers like his dad might feel like dinosaurs as they fail to adapt to a new economic environment. These songs exist side by side with songs like “Honey Dew,” which combines shit talking with rhymes about treating women right as he trades rhymes with ialive, or “Indie Rap Starter Pack,” which features ialive and kidDEAD trading verses with Jones as they spell out the struggles of making it as an independent artist, but also valuing your principles as you travel on the road and put out albums.

Follow Your Heart And You’ll End Up Alone is a well-rounded album from a veteran artist who isn’t afraid to take some risks and get a little weird, but at the same time never loses sight of the roots of hip hop. The result is an album that you can listen to over and over and find a new favorite each time through.