Editor’s note: Because of economic difficulties, the purchase of the LP was delayed. Thus postponing this review.
In a genre dominated by males, females in the rap game seem to all fall in the trap of who sounds the most dominate — or like Trina who is the baddest bitch. From Trina to Lil Kim, from Foxy Brown to Shawnna, rap is loaded with hardcore femme fatales.
But what about hip hop? Where are the female equivalents to the Commons and the Lupe Fiascos. Will a female finally come and warm the seat left cold by Lauryn Hill 10 years ago?
The first time I heard Jean Grae was on Talib Kweli’s 2007 release Eardrum on the track ‘Say Something’ where she spat this declaration:
“Hip-Hop’s not dead, it was on vacation. We back, we bask in the confrontation.”
Standing in hip-hop’s corner with her dukes up, Jean Grae released her fourth LP Jeanius in July under Blacksmith with 9th Wonder as the producer. And if you want to know what sound you’re about to listen to, open the cover flap and the see the hip-hop represented through cover art.
Jeanius opens with a two-minute intro that for you beat heads, is the best beat laden track of the album. Jean herself recognize this by opening the intro by telling listeners to roll the windows down and turn the woofers up.
Then there are the two radio cuts in ‘Don’t rush me’ featuring 9th Wonder and the R&B-esque ‘Love Thirst.’ ‘American Pimp’ featuring Median and produced by Khrysis is a track that you can hear coming from the Cadillac of Bishop Don “Magic” Juan. But the track is a social conscious piece about the things we do when we are pimped by America — by the system.
“Are you gonna take that? Yeah you are, you gonna fucking take it home with ya.”
Listen to Jean Grae — she meant it because she wrote it.