It’s always nice when an up-and-coming artist seems to make strides from one release to the next. We last heard from New York’s Topaz Jones on the intense “Coping Mechanism,” a well-executed but fairly straight forward song about art as a method for dealing with a chaotic world.

On new single, “Livin A Lie,” Jones again raps solidly, expanding his toolset to showcase a skill for the sort of melodic hooks that can push rappers above the internet scrapheap. Over producer Episode’s energetically atmospheric production, Jones explores the potential pitfalls of chasing your dreams. It all coheres around the chorus, a passionately delivered slice of enjoyably rough-hewn singing from the rapper that feels natural and enlivens the song.

Listen to “Livin’ A Lie” below.