Hear The Track Here
Last one out of the review grabbag this month is a new hiphop name to me not, as you may assume, from the USA. Don J3 is based in Lagos, Nigeria not exactly a name I would associate with hardcore rap but ya never know. As I've explained before I am a big fan of the genre but the current commercial side of it leaves me cold. There is a strain of hiphop prevalent today that is way too sweet and sugary for such a ballsy in-your-face style that rap demands, rap is bad, dangerous, edgy and angry as hell. It sticks in my craw to hear so called rappers using the genre to write love notes to the woman (usually) they are trying to get with.
There again, I admit I am a bit of a purist as far as that goes so I try to be as objective as possible when I am reviewing this particular side of hip hop. So when I am listening to the genre I am looking for certain things from each of the elements that makes up the track. Musically, I need good, interesting beats, hopefully with some variation even if the beats are stripped down. I'd look for good instrumentation and a catchy arrangement which doesn't need to follow the 'song' standard but still checks all the right boxes. Finally, the rap - above all - should flow, supplying the hooks, drama and out and out syncopation.
Not an easy task by any means but there are several artists right here on Soundclick who manage to pull it off, sometimes to a very professional standard. That then, is the competition Don J3 has to see off and judging by Wishes, its a pretty tame affair. The music and arrangement are very static, whereas the rap changes almost every couple of bars; first one sound, then another. Obviously I could complain about the lyrical content but that seems pointless, I already told you I don't like this whole love-y thing. So on all the most basic levels this is an OK rap track but only if you like a) the romantic side of hiphop or; b) don't mind a fairly bland, linear delivery. It also seems unfair to leave it at this so I went online to have a listen to a couple of his other tracks and found they were basic ideas for tracks. Not bad style though, and I think I'd like to hear one fleshed out with a proper rap before I commented further. Don is obviously new to this so I would suggest - as a matter of urgency - checking out some of his SC peers, the standard on here is extraordinarily high; especially in hiphop. Upping your game IS the only thing you can do to make any sort of lasting impression.
Or I could just be talking bollocks eh? ;)