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Saturday, June 10, 2017

J.O. - Grown Man Business

Man... I've been waiting for this album for a long minute and it has been worth the wait.  The 1st time I heard J.O. was on Ace-One's "Rapmonster" LP, which was another album I was waiting anxiously to drop.

Shortly after hearing J.O. taunt us with his Godzilla stomping verse "I'm the best thing hapenin' since 16 bars and rapin'" we were treated to the PHD album, a group project with The Klinik & DJ Spoolz. "Unexpected" was exactly that. In my mind I had no idea what I was in for on 1st listen.  With his "A Day In The Life" album we were actually given what would be an "expected" street album. (sonically)  But... PHD was different, where "Day In..." was a pretty straight forward album that reflected popular styles of it's release, PHD was it's smoked out little brother.  Klinik painting a backdrop that, as Ace-One would refer to as "black Cadillac" music, allowed J.O. and Klinik room to breathe, have fun, but still let you know that you will get "knocked the PHAWK OUT," if you cross them.

After the release of the PHD album, J.O. started working on a solo project.  As time progressed and we all anticipated the release, the title reflected exactly what it was, "Grown Man Business." A video here, a track there, but as we were all teased with what his LP was, we were still all waiting on it. Life is life... life is good and life happens.  But, roughly 3 years after the PHD project being released, J.O.'s album is finally here and it was worth the wait.

"Grown Man Business" is almost a who's who of Naptown talent as Nevi Moon, Klinik, Joe Harvey, Mark Mars, BTF Shane and Nappy Newt assist on the production with Ace-One, Brotha Dees assisting on guest spots.  The varying production styles, instead of clashing with each other when playing out, serve as an ebb and flow with J.O. allowing him to show the listener he can ride the beat, have a good time and once again... let you know that you will get "knocked the PHAWK OUT," if you cross him.  (Chris Tucker voice)

In this day and age of instant gratification and short attention spans, many artists have been calling 5 track projects "albums." As a breath of fresh air, J.O.'s offering is an ACTUAL album at 12 songs. Long enough to keep the listener engaged, but not too long or too short. There is a balance... maybe that's just "Grown Man Business" in the current state of leaned out rappers more fixated on their "brand" than talent.  Regardless of J.O.'s intention, his LP is able to walk the line and play to an older generation of rap fans that's in their 30s and 40s AND a younger crowd without sounding like he's trying to pander to that audience.  J.O. is simply telling the new cats and the older cats what it is... he's a grown ass man and this is "Grown Man Business."

Do yourself a favor and cop J.O.'s new LP and check for his feature on the highly anticipated "The Scepter & The Sword."  (shameless promo and full disclosure)










Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dawhud x Moka Only x Wizdumb - Candyman (...Large Pro...J Dilla)

"Sweets to the Sweet"

 About 10 years ago Dawhud purchased the legendary Large Professor's S950 from him on eBay. The sampler was a staple along with the SP1200 in Hip Hop's Golden Age and Large Pro used the sampler on many of the classics he produced. "Put it in the S950 and stretch IT!"

 Fast forward a few years and Dawhud was able to acquire a record that was from J Dilla's personal record collection. Was it used on any of the beats he made that weren't released? Who knows... but knowing it was from his actual collection is worth its weight in gold.

 Both of these pieces mostly sat as collector items in Dawhud's studio until a simple joke/suggestion from Ryan Fresh planted a seed. "Yo... if you make a beat with Large Pro's S950 and J Dilla's record, you'll summon Candyman." Boom... that was it. Suddenly the concept for the song was born and as the beat was created, Dawhud wanted to make a song that was an homage to the legends that were in essence behind the track. Dawhud, being an emcee/producer/DJ, wanted to make a song with other emcee/producer/DJs using equipment and records that were from legendary emcee/producer/DJs.

Enter Moka Only and Wizdumb. Three like minds, but each ride the haunting mellow track in a different direction while maintaining the theme.

"You ever heard of Candyman? If you look into the mirror... you say his name 5 times."

Dawhud...

 Moka Only...

 Wizdumb...

 Large Professor...

 J Dilla...

 Enter the Candyman

 As an homage to the late J Dilla, who owned the record used in the production, Candyman will be released on Dilla Day Tuesday February 7th.