Truth in rap…not necessarily a new concept, but it seems to have been distorted in years past. Thankfully, artists like Young Jerz are getting back to the intended mission of hip hop. I thoroughly enjoyed the rapper/producer and New Jersey native’s new mixtape: No Gimmicks-Presented by DJ Ill Will & DJ Rockstar. The project includes production by Mo Chedda, Scott Summers, Kajmir Royale and Jerz himself, and makes good use of appearances by Sickpen, Neako (Jerz’ own artist), Rockstar, Nu Jersey Devil and more.
The title track “No Gimmicks”(Prod by Jahlil Beats) won me over, as I was initially on the fence. But, seeing as how I’m a sucker for down-to-earth lyrics, Jerz had me with the opening lines…”I’m in the booth right now- no chain, no watch, no Nuvo, no champagne, no earrings…no models/matter of fact it’s no gimmicks…” He goes on to clarify his standing in the grand scheme of the hip hop lifestyle…”The game on four flats/take that thing to Maaco/Don’t know what you into/let me tell you what I ain’t tho/never bust a hammer- I ain’t never did no time/I don’t fill up my grammar wit no dictionary rhymes/ain’t got no cool dance to upload online/my city know my name/they well aware of my grind….marvelous. The video’s pretty cool as well: simple, but effective.
“After This” (feat Young Simmons) is already an internet hit. The track puts a catchy new twist on picking up chicks in the club: “Baby girl, let me break it down just what you in for/ you gone leave that lame alone once you see that I spend more/ pool full of dollars- go on girl, swim to shore/ put you in that coupe with them ‘I don’t wanna live’ doors/suicide-you decide…” Very clever…might just get him the digits. (I’m pretty sure people still say ‘digits’…right? I’m never sure of these things).
“Costume” (feat K2- Prod by Mylkeyz) is chill and laidback. The buttery soft and well-blended harmony is a plus, and “Feelin’ Life” (feat K2- produced by Young Jerz) is easy to listen to. Just a warning: the intro on “Wanna Be” uses autotune, but don’t worry- it’s well worth pushing past it…”I Like Her”(featuring Sickpen and Neako), and “I Can Feel Your Heartbeat”(featuring Rockstar and Nu Jerzey Devil) are also notable.
It baffles me that artists like Young Jerz are without deals while I can’t turn on my radio without hearing Timbaland do horrible things to his own beats (that’s no diss- I just like his songs much better when he stays in the background). Thank God for technological advances and free downloads. I’m just sayin’…
Looking forward to hearing more from Young Jerz in the near future.