Jun 9, 2016

Editorial Review: JACK - @PilotJonze (written by @RamseySaidWHAT)

You know some people call me arrogant. I have the same braggadocio attitude that your favorite rapper does. How could I not? My staff and I put out one of the best quality and content filled sites on the Internet as far as I'm concerned. People come here for our opinions on their favorite artists near and far because we keep it a buck (I'm humbled by that, I'll be done talking about myself in a second). My friends like to call me a Jack of all trades. I write, mix code, edit, shoot, promote, record, host and a plethora of skills I use for this blog and my daily life. Enough about me (finally), point blank I'm not the only Jack of all trades around. There's David Michael Jonze too. Also part of the Different People collective I've spoken about earlier. Two weeks ago he dropped his debut project and I've been tasked to review it. Let's get to it.

Jack featuring ONLYBISI is a great opener to the tape. It has good pacing, with an awesome feature with his labelmate in Bisi. This track sets the tone the entire project. Next up, Faith featuring MURADDDDAH & Jephtoda is the tale of a ambitious kid fresh out of college pleading for his mom to understand his new plight. Dave is a young man just trying to make it and express his feelings as a creator and not a Nine to Fiver. This is that stage of life for a lot of us and extremely relate to. The hook is dope too. I know Kanye is an influence and the song ends with pleasant harmonies kind of like how Ultralight Beam finishes with God's Property, Kelly Price, and The-Dream. Faith is my favorite joint on the project.

Mercy isn't my cup of tea. I do like that Dave is willing to take a bunch of routes to create his sound. This time he ventures into trap but his verses are pretty good. He even takes some chances and sings a few riffs here and there. Maybe not the singer of his crew but it's better than most of these rappers nowadays. Good enough to sing his own hook. As long as he understands that's his lane and doesn't try to Alicia Keys the thing. Remember part one and two are the meat of this JACK sandwich. Dave takes a retrospective angle at one of his past relationships. Part one hits home for me personally. He takes a moment to reflect on trying to be a good enough man for his Ivy Leaguer taking trips on that 1 Train uptown while battling infidelity head on. Part two is more forgiving for himself. He doesn't care if they ever get back together but he just hopes she remembers him because he'll never forget her. I originally thought he sampled Elcyna's voice but it's a Corrine Bailey Rae song looped throughout the track. I'm glad he sang his own hook here, it makes it personal, but it's when he pulls Elcyna out his pocket to take stage in this song when I'm impressed. Different People really has a few guns in their arsenal.

Earlier this week Queen covered the next song, Jersey Slide. Dave is a kid out of Essex county so it's clear Jersey Club music has a real influence. I love odes to our homestate and I love the landmarks and routes he name dropped in this track. I know he's kidding about the central Jersey thing but I swear you fools gotta make it south of Plainfield one day for another reason besides the beach. The entire space between Plainfield and Lakewood on the east side, and on the west side Flemington and south of Bordentown makes up Central Jersey yall (I had to say it in this review where people will read and be edified.). When you all get to Ocean or Burlington County and you're in clansville you're south (somewhere there's a guy from Jackson cursing me out lol). Back to the music, Jersey Slide was dope as hell. County Roads closes out JACK in magnificent fashion. ONLYBISI, MURADDDDAH & Museical Souls sing the hook with four part harmony. Dave's flow and vocal tonality reminds me of Chance here. Sidebar, I really like the Jay and TaTa minus the Mai Tai line. He does more landmark name dropping in the final tune. If you're a commuter like me you understand exactly where he's coming from. This is the best singing by Dave on the project no argument.

JACK in no way sounded like a debut project. When I asked him why he went concept on his first project he said he didn't. I mean he's right. He could be a rapping-a**-rapper but he's gonna need some kind of content to talk about. Family, friends, past loves are always a good route to go. At times in JACK it seemed like Dave would get a little lost in his delivery. The only thing he struggles with is his flow. It's like he adds an extra syllable or is missing one at the end of some lines. There's not much I would change about the project. A couple rookie mistakes but it's the first project. With time he'll grow out of that. I think he has more upside than most of the acts from round the way. He's the full package and produced most of JACK himself. I think he is flat out excellent in creating sonic structure and building a song from scratch as a producer and artist alike. In his interview on Podcast About Nothing he talked about not only what he does for himself but how he puzzle pieces his teammates as well. Different People is on the rise. I think it's time we all got with it. JACK gets a 4.2 of 5 stars on the Ramsey Rating Scale. This is one of my favorite underground projects thus far this year. I really relate to the stories told. I'm excited to see what happens when he actually goes conceptual. In the meantime, listen to JACK after the break.

Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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