Mr. J. Medeiros
Hip Hop fans are being starved of quality music lately. As a result some fans are desperate to throw around and apply the “C-Word” – classic – to anything that’s just slightly better than average. Of course, nobody should blame them with the tremendous number of below average Hip Hop releases in the last three years. There have been glimpses of classic material, sure, but not enough to make a dent in today’s open celebration of musical redundancy. Mr. J. Medeiros of the talented Hip Hop group, The Procussions, leaves a hefty mark all on his own with the fantastic solo debut LP Of Gods and Girls.
Things get off to a fantastic start with “Amelie” featuring French-speaking MC 20Syl of the group Hocus Pocus. The church organ heavy production from 20Syl is simply amazing and Mr. J. delivers with his honest and earnest performance. It takes a lot of courage to open up an LP with a virtual love letter such as this. Next up is “Silent Earth”, a self-produced masterpiece. Mr. J. spits with a conviction that matches the intensity of the production well. Again, the lyrics have topical weight without appearing overbearing. The track “Constance”, a disturbing tale of child Internet pornography, is chilling but in the most necessary of ways. Self-produced again, Mr. J. paints an uncomfortable scene, but it is truly unforgettable. It captures what the entire LP is about – painting both the beautiful and ugly sides of world but never seeming preachy about either of it. The stark matter-of-factness of the album is exactly why it works. Mr. J.’s ability to effectively convey his sensitive everyman persona and sincere lyrics should be endearing to many a listener.
Another beautiful piece of work is “Change” featuring Strange Fruit Project and Rez of The Procussions. G-Unit producer Illmind provides production on this song, which appeared on the Hip Hop Is Music release Heavy Rotation. It is by far one of the many standout songs on the disc, and the lyrics again are filled with messages but never to the point of self-absorbed hubris. The track “Keep Pace” featuring production from Mr. J. showcases the rapper giving his passionate all and injecting some seemingly positivist cheerleading. Not everything is heavy or deep on the LP but nothing is ever lyrically simple. Time will tell if Of Gods and Girls deserves the C-Word treatment but for now, it is high on the list of the best releases of 2007.