Phoneix’s worst Nightmare has come to life.
Stemming from his eclectic two-pack XCAPE, where fans were first introduced to his fiery alter ego “Phoenix,” to his electrifying performance at Lollapalooza, Jean’s mission to ceaselessly push sonic boundaries meets no end on “DESTRUCTION FOR DUMMIES,” PT. 2 JEAN DAWSON AS “NIGHTMARE.”
Through three haunting, introspective tracks in “NO SCOPE,” “X-RAY,” and “VEXED,” Dawson presents a facet of himself previously uncharted. This isn’t the rebellious, rock-tinged “Phoenix” though. Instead, “NIGHTMARE” is a softer, more vulnerable layer of Jean, with melodies sporadically enveloped in an ethereal embrace.
“Phoenix was his own little train, right, and now there’s ‘Nightmare.’ It’s basically a reflection of me going through a break-up. That whole experience felt like a nightmare; it was really tough. I wanted to stew in my emotions and how I felt at the time. The music is more sad and soft-spoken. While there are pieces you can [turn up] to, the purpose of it is to immerse yourself in the emotion.”Jean Dawson to OGM
With DESTRUCTION FOR DUMMIES, Jean’s sound gets further away from being pigeonholed: It’s ever-evolving. The second part in a new sonic trilogy, this continues to be a deep dive into the inner workings of the San Diego native, as “NIGHTMARE” presents a deeply conceptual, profoundly confessional side to Dawson. He shows his true colors, illustrating his humanity regardless of the “DESTRUCTION” he’s waged.
DFD and XCAPE arrived after Dawson’s CHAOS NOW* in October 2022, and precedes his upcoming headlining tour “WHATS THE BIG F**KING DEAL” — which kicks off in Santa Cruz, California on Sept. 24. Along with his own trek, Dawson has joined Trippie Redd on his nationwide TAKE ME AWAY Tour, recalling how he and the ALLTY5 rapper initially linked up during our chat in Chicago.
“Trippie just found my music somehow and DM’d me. He was like, ‘I fuck with you.’ And I replied, ‘sick. I love you,’” he told us at Lollapalooza this month. “We hung out, and I had some preconceptions [going into meeting him]. I thought he was going to be mean for some reason. People often think I’m mean too. But when I met him, he was the kindest person. Way smarter than I even gave him credit for initially. My perception of him was different. He’s so emotionally intelligent and kind. He understands himself so well. He’s a beautiful human being.”
As fans await for Jean’s third and final character to be introduced, the CHAOS NOW* star described that each persona is a “sub-section” of himself — giving each of them a voice to shine.
“There are three characters, each representing different facets of who I am. Phoenix is the one closest to me and the one I resonate with the most. It’s not about having multiple personalities; it’s about the parts of my psyche I tap into. Nightmare is the boy who made ‘Pixel Bath,’ while Phoenix made ‘CHAOS NOW*.’ The third character that hasn’t been named yet, created ‘Bad Sports.’ It’s all about giving them a voice for once.”