After releasing his critically acclaimed album Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? (out Jun 2 via City Slang), Chicago-based rapper McKinley Dixon invites fellow US-American rapper Blu to collaborate on the hit single, “Run Run Run”.

With both McKinley and Blu being known for their lyrical depth and powerful delivery, this pairing fits perfectly with the joyful yet somber urgency of the original track, and comes at the perfect time before McKinley embarks on a run of shows throughout the UK and Europe on Nov 2nd.

Speaking of this collaboration, McKinley says: “Blu and Exile’s ‘Below The Heavens’ was a pivotal point in my life. It was a moment where I discovered rap music could be used as a form of expression! Years later, it’s an honor to have it be full circle and Blu sound so hungry on a song of mine.”

Stream “Run, Run, Run (Feat. Blu)” HERE.

Watch “Run, Run, Run (Feat. Blu)” HERE.

Listen to Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? HERE.

The 10-track Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? unspools as a powerful pastiche of sound and emotion. The title pays homage to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s immortal trilogy of novels who McKinley has previously referred to as “the greatest rapper ever.” As such, he continues her tradition of intense introspection and uplifting escapism with a sobering perspective on the modern American experience. In a similar fashion, he delivers deliberate and dynamic lyricism befitting of her creative cadence. Rounding out the vision, the LP also boasts guest appearances from poet and writer Hanif Abdurraqib, Teller Bank$, Alfred., Ghais Guevara, Anjimile, Seline Haze, and more. The project notably features “Dedicated to Tar Feather” featuring Boston-based folk artist Anjimile, which serves as a message to McKinley’s younger self set to symphonic instrumentals. It is intended to juxtapose “B.B.N.E.” from his 2021 albumFor My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her.

“Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? is my ode to the coming-of-age movie, the book you read that really stuck with you forever that one summer and the photo you look back on when you want to feel held again,” McKinley says of the project, “It’s a record that has immeasurable importance to me and my family, so I hope you can feel that, too.”


See the full Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? tracklisting below.



He paved the way for the album with singles “Sun, I Rise” feat. Angélica Garcia, “Tyler, Forever,” “Run, Run, Run,” and of course the title track “Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?” Hypebeast cited “Tyler, Forever” among its “Best New Tracks” and attested, “the promising young talent flexes his vocals over layers of jazz instrumentals, blending grittiness, melancholy and appreciation in a single honoring his late friend Tyler.”CLASH christened it as “beautifully stark” and noted, “‘Tyler, Forever’ fuses club sounds with adventurous jazz elements, while lyrically he’s exploring trauma, grief, and attempting to move forwards.”

In addition to music videos for his single McKinley released what he dubbed, a “Kitchen Table session” for each track. Inspired by Carrie Mae Weems’ seminal photo collection, The Kitchen Tables Series – a collection known for exploring the self in collective experiences at a kitchen table and a landmark in Black representation in American fine art. The performances showcased raw and immediate energy and McKinley’s maestro performance style.

Album Artwork by Ladon Alex

Following on the heels of successful SXSW showcase sets and supporting dates with GRAMMY-nominated supergroup Tank And The Bangas, McKinley will be playing several shows in Europe and the UK this November! All tickets may be purchased HERE.


See below for full routing:

Nov 2, 2023 – Le Botanique, Bruxelles, Belgium

Nov 4, 2023 – BIRDfest, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Nov 6, 2023 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nov 8, 2023 – Gullivers, Manchester, United Kingdom

Nov 9, 2023 – EartH, London, United Kingdom

Nov 10, 2023 – Rough Trade, Bristol, United Kingdom



1. Hanif Reads Toni

2. Sun, I Rise (Feat. Angelica Garcia)

3. Mezzanine Tippin’ (Feat. Teller Bank$ & Alfred.)

4. Run, Run, Run

5. Live! From The Kitchen Table (Feat. Ghais Guevara)

6. Tyler, Forever

7. Dedicated to Tar Feather (feat. Anjimile)

8. The Story So Far (Interlude)

9. The Story So Far (Feat. Seline Haze)

10.Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!? (Feat. Ms. Jaylin Brown)


More about McKinley Dixon:

McKinley Dixon spent his childhood caught between two worlds. Born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1995, his formative experiences were defined by shuttling back and forth between his hometown and Jamaica, Queens. It was within the concrete jungle of New York that he found a spiritual home; there, the faces looked like his own in a way that just wasn’t true of Maryland. “It gave me kind of this sense of longing that really jump-started my thinking about escapism through music,” he says.

This sense of yearning for something more, of creation as means to transcend the facts of everyday reality, is central to Dixon’s music. Who is the greatest rapper of all time, in his mind? Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Her novels dealt with American history and its entanglement with the Black experience, locating eruptions of longing and escape with the beautiful sweep and precision of her prose – and it’s exactly this that Dixon himself is trying to channel in his music.

Musically, he was raised on a diet of “artists whose first name was Mary”, including Mary J. Blige and gospel duo Mary Mary. He also developed a taste for Outkast who pushed the parameters of hip-hop, while growing curious about the theatrical rock of My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco that his Maryland friends introduced him to. Eventually, he channeled these competing influences into a debut EP he released in 2013 while attending college in Richmond, Virginia.

With time, his music became his primary means of self-expression, whether discussing Blackness or his own relationship with healing. Across his subsequent releases—Who Taught You to Hate Yourself? (2016) and The Importance of Self Belief (2018), his style evolved, and his confidence grew, especially when it came to live instrumentation. His 2021 debut album For My Mama and Anyone Who Look Like Her was a game changer, reckoning with themes of grief and heartache which proved that Dixon is more than a musician alone, but rather an artist capable of achievements on a greater poetic and literary scale.




Photo Credits: Jimmy Fontaine