Jerrell Johnson aka “Kevin Litemares” is one of the greatest conceptual hip hop artists that I know. He has proved it with previous projects such as Dream Soda and Litemares. Now, he comes with a more personal and darker concept with “Nappy Cocaine“.
He starts the album off with “Dead Serious” requesting for a jacket as he discusses adjusting to such a cold world. This leads us to “Better Than this” where he somewhat responds to the previous track by speaking on not taking things in life for granted and having the luxury of his legs and the ability to even have a job. He also drops some nice bars shouting out Nas’s influence on his life. “Negro League” is an album favorite where he creates an anthem and roll call for the african american culture. The next two tracks “Hands up” and “Guns Down” show why Kevin is one of the greatest of his profession. On these two stories, he tells two different perspectives of a shady cop and a victim of the streets. As you listen, Kevin has a way of somewhat empathizing with both characters (Even though the cop is clearly wrong, but is acting by what he knows best to do) . The wordplay of the tracks and their titles make you fall in love with his storytelling skills, yet leave you feeling emotional for the current state of streets filled with homicide by our own and cops. On “Chanel 9” he speaks on the irony and issues within hip hop and CHH with Eons D. “Good day” has to be my favorite song off the album as Kevin gives his most personal song in years speaking on mistakes he made with his best friend and struggling with purpose and finding joy in life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album. Kevin truly opened up and gave us some of the best lyrics, production and honesty within this project. I love how he was willing to tackle and speak on his issues within the “american dream” of being successful, church/CHH, issues within hip hop and his regrets. He shows us that life at times can resemble the feeling of doing cocaine. At times, we can feel weak and use it to feel incredible or feel like the strongest person in the world, but then you have to experience the low from the high. I’m really want to see where Kevin goes from here. Whatever he does, I know it will shine like this project. After listening to “Nappy Cocaine”, you will be hooked.