I had no expectations prior to the first listen of the album. I was familiar with Jansport J’s work as a producer, but El Prez was new to me. Sport has a knack for lacing his beats with some very interesting and familiar samples. While the beats are new to the listener, the samples make the music feel familiar. It’s like walking into a stranger’s house, but immediately feeling like you are at home.
El Prez seems to be built to rap over the very laid back beats. His cadence on every song is perfectly woven into the tapestry of percussion that Sport crafted. The songs aren’t over violent, aggressive, or lyrically over the top. They provide clear and concise pictures of the subject matter, all while being very easy to listen to. I found myself replaying many of the songs not only for Prez’s wordplay, but trying to pinpoint all the samples, which are perfectly blended into the songs. All to often we come across a beat with a sample that is forced into the song. Sport’s method seems to be crafting the sound with the sample as the foundation. This method gives listeners of all ages a rare opportunity to appreciate the sampling process.
The album isn’t without its flaws. There were a couple of songs that I felt were not necessary to the cohesion of the album. “Rules of Engagement” is a dope song, but there are some misses on the rhyming, specifically the end of the second verse. The Quagmire lines in the third verse were eyebrow raising. Saying “giggity, giggity, giggity” was pretty awful. Not only that, the chorus makes the song seem like an attempt to grab the attention of the female audience. “Task Force” was another song that I felt took me out of the vibe of the album. I wouldn’t say that it’s altogether bad, I just felt that the song itself felt out of place on such a laid back, soulful project.
This album falls in the category of being easily accessible to everyone. The music can be appreciated by an older crowd because of the soulful beats that are so easy to vibe to. This music is the type you vibe to at a summer barbeque with family. It’s a happy medium of soul and hip hop that we seem to be missing these days.
Head scratchers: GIGGITY, GIGGITY, GIGGITY…“Task Force” feels like it should be on a different album, it’s a good song, but kills the vibe of the album for a few minutes.
Final Score: 8/10. The album is a gem. There are a few lines and one song I could do without, but the album is a great piece of music. Anyone who is aspiring to make soul beats should take tutelage from Jansport J.
Thanks for reading,
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