And now, something that isn’t jazz…
Ashley Ellerson: “Jazz” is refreshing like a glass of water on a scalding day because you know Jenkins is right. Scat singing is popular in jazz, and it’s about as nonsensical and beautiful as Jonsi when he sings in Hopelandic. Folks are scatting and fooling the dehydrated; do your research, drink that fresh water, and you’ll see right through that jazz.
Brad Shoup: He comes at the oppositions so casually: triumph is a JFK pose, talking jazz is trouble unless it’s not. I like his catholic selection of luminaries, and the combination of the vibes and a Tyler-like baritone lend this a peculiarly West-Coast feel. But I guess if I had to pick my diving spot, I’d take the Pacific over Lake Michigan in a heartbeat.
Alfred Soto: Like Kevin Gates and Tyler, his baritone and stentorian diction are arresting in themselves, but the story’s arresting too: a smart guy who’s done shit and has trouble convincing people those smarts are for real. OnGaud’s use of a horrorshow organ and reverbed guitar help.
Jonathan Bogart: Sometimes tense chords are tense not because they’re presaging horror, but because they’re trying to keep a lid on joy. Undemonstrative, logorrheic, obsessed with history both personal and cultural — there was no way I wasn’t going to love this.
David Sheffieck: Jenkins has demonstrated his versatility in the past, but he seems to be most at home with spectral beats that float between B-grade horror soundtrack and existential dread. Here his delivery projects a sense of weary resignation, elevated to something like disgust on the third verse, and centered on a hook that imagines his assassination. It’s bleak and not a little disturbing, but while you might need to cover your eyes, you’ll find yourself peeking through your fingers.
Maxwell Cavaseno: “I can’t keep watching the same movies.” He says. But the sad fact is, Jenkins scowling and grumping is the same thing so many rappers who take his field do. His technique is adequately flourishy, and his vocabulary is good. But people armed with diagrams and thesauruses only get so far in life. At the core, Jenkins is just providing decorative fancies to the same subject material as say, Ace Hood. (“Gotta get this loot! Momma need new shoes! I’m the realest, not everybody else who says the exact same thing as me!”) The presentation might echo TDE, Chance, Vince or various “underground” acts that promote a more “thoughtful” approach; but at the end of the day this kid is talking that Wynton Marsalis: refried, retread, fancy old cliches.