Jansport J – P H A R A O H [Beat Tape]

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” While one of our founding fathers was probably referring to our government and what could be America in 2017, Jansport J subconsciously ended up taking the adage to heart in the studio for his new album p h a r a o h. During a visit to the Rotten Apple one January in 2016, one of hip hop’s founding fathers–Rakim–and an intangible magnetism in the city brought on a break from his familiar narrative-driven album structure in favor of raw, gut feelings. Taking a page out of J Dilla’s book, he shirked care for track listing order to give the listener a bumpy, immersive trip with no sense of direction like a tourist caught in the morning rush on the L train. You’re not supposed to ever get too comfortable while you listen to p h a r a o h. It reflects the unforgiving hustle and bustle of New York City as the crowd takes you one way or pushes you in another just as quickly. There are familiar roadmarks on the trip like news clips referring to the death of the gorilla Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo and familiar vocal samples. But the rest is an interpretation of classic East Coast production, namely by Eric B. and RZA, as told to you by Jansport J. And just as New York City is a colorful mixing of personalities and backgrounds, so is p h

Read more