‘Sincerely, Me (Demo)’ is Jamie Hancock’s heartfelt letter to the things and people that shaped who he has become.

“Sacrificed everything for the movement – I had to do it, yeah, I had to prove it!”

When your album starts out with your relative saying, “God has great plans for you,” you have to come correct.

Jamie Hancock proudly accepted the charge. The Houston-hailing emcee and Sofa Boys ambassador may still be relatively new to many ears, but one thing he also is, is determined.

‘Sincerely, Me (Demo),’ Hancock’s newest LP, is proof of that. It’s titled that way for a reason: the album is Hancock’s letter to everyone who’s ever stuck by him and to anyone willing to hear him out. Over 12 tracks, Hancock takes listeners down the path that is his life, from his humble start to matters of the heart to his hunger for greatness. The features on ‘Sincerely, Me” are kept to a minimum, though artists like FreddyING, MiZZy, Mufasa Enzor, Julian Outlaw, SaintElle, and the city’s “musical nomad” Amaru; and MiZZY, more than make the most of their limited time.

“Stingy,” Hancock’s battle with aspirations over love alongside Houston songbird Damaria, is even heavier following Jamie’s confession on “9000 Bissonnet” that he “almost lost his life.” And though he begins the album by declaring that he has no worries, just one track later, Jamie acknowledges that staying steady and keeping going “Ain’t Easy.” “I left home at 23 and moved closer to the beach,” Hancock recounts on the song, before revealing that going after his dreams had him sleeping on the streets. “This ain’t how it’s supposed to be.”

‘Sincerely, Me (Demo)’ finds a balance between lighter emotions and dark moments. There’s the mischievous joy that arises when Hancock indulges his vices – on lead single “Hennythang,” for example, and on “High Enough,” during which the emcee literally stops mid-song to light his blunt. But there’s also the danger on “From, Houston With Love,” where a critic confronts Hancock by comparing him to the musicians he isn’t. Hancock presumably pulls a gun on the man, and the critic goads him until a gunshot rings out, followed by Jamie’s mother saying, “Jamie, I love you.” Then there’s a pregnant pause before the song picks up again in a reprise of sorts. The listener knows there’s still more album left, but it’s the simple fact that they’re left to contemplate and process the silence for even a moment, wondering what happened and possibly assuming the worst. One might even assume the critic is Hancock’s self-consciousness, the old self that he kills off before bringing listeners back to earth and redressing his sound in pure H-Town.

“I know we all take losses, but that’s the shit that build bosses!”

More than anything else, ‘Sincerely, Me (Demo)’ is Jamie Hancock’s letter to the people that have gotten him where he is today. Certain tracks bear well-wishes from friends and family. And where most artists would save the “thank you’s” for the liner notes, ‘Sincerely’s’ outro cut, “No Worries (Side B),” concludes with Jamie reading aloud excerpts of letters from his fans. It makes sense when one remembers Jamie’s sister-in-law’s words at the very beginning before the music even starts: he’s here to “give the children and the people of tomorrow a better understanding of who you, me, we are as a whole.” By the album’s end, it’s understood that if Jamie Hancock is going up, he’s carrying his people with him – no matter what.

Stream Jamie Hancock’s ‘Sincerely, Me (Demo)’ album for yourself down below and grab the LP for yourself off iTunes now.