Emmitt James – Black University (Album Review)
“Polaroids” (previous review)
“Black University” (previous review)
“#HMHHVV” (previous review)
Emmitt James released his latest effort Black University at the end of last month. It’s a 16 track offering with three singles that were featured on the site before the album was released. Readers can visit the provided links for the rundown on those selections. There are a handful of guest appearances on the collective and a healthy assortment of producers as well. James describes the project as follows: “Black University is about hoping the grass is greener on the other side and then giving your all to make it a reality.” Intriguing commentary, especially as the young emcee just recently graduated college and is about to embark on a brand new journey himself. Find out which songs best embodied the summary for The Illixer after the break.
This song is connected to an interlude that plays right before it titled “Due Date.” It entails a phone call announcing that Emmitt’s sister has given birth to his nephew. The production here is quality. The mellow foundation, soulful background elements, mid-tempo pace, and down to earth vibe result in a favorable blend. The hook is solid. The delivery is straightforward and the lyrics are meaningful. The verses are pointed. Emmitt James serves up a clean cut flow, thorough wordplay, and conversational styled rhymes. He does a stand up job of sharing some words of wisdom while at the same time emphasizing his nephew’s worth. A handful of significant lines are: “Now if you ever meet the woman of your dreams, no matter Black or White be sure to treat her like a queen. It’s never black & white. It’s rarely ever what it seems. And if you have a son just be the father that he needs rather than pack up and leave. Sperm donor s–t. You see that cowardice act, I ain’t condoning it. Open your eyes and see the mistakes of these older men. Cause you can always learn from the people you younger than.” One has to appreciate the profound message in those bars right there. All in all, this is a choice number.
The production here is eclectic. The quirky structure, groovy secondary musical ingredients, laid-back rhythm, and old school vibe pair up relatively smoothly. The hook is respectable. The delivery is complimentary and makes great use of the sample that is present. The lyrics are blatantly honest. The verses are of a biting nature. Emmitt James disperses a natural flow, bold wordplay, and unapologetic rhymes. He responds to a voice-mail from an ex girlfriend in a manner that sends her over the edge. A highlight from his reply includes: “I cheated, didn’t tell you to til’ the second time. You did your dirt too. That’s word from a friend of mine. I flirt a lot. Yeah I got it bad. But when it come to commitment I got that in the bag. And then you laugh. You think I’m playing. I got a way with words, Goku, Super Saiyan. Somehow I ain’t the greatest at this. Especially when I picture you having my babies and s–t.” Those words right there would be tough for anyone to hear at the start of a convo with a significant other. The single concludes with a very hostile message from Emmitt’s aforementioned ex boo. As a whole, this is an engaging track and a bit of a different side of the poetic rap talent.
“Saturday” F/ Oshi
The production here is fly. The sleek base, cultivated supporting details, unconventional gait, and gritty club style vibe make for a boss combination. The hook is valid. The delivery is lively and the lyrics are on point. The verses are of a top notch quality. Emmitt James takes on a majority of the record but Oshi comes through with a sassy and clever counter on the second verse. Both artists utilize lucid flows, colorful wordplay, and audacious rhymes. They bring to life the age old scenario of a female working at a club to pay for school in a picture perfect fashion. Observe as Emmitt James spits: “You say it’s just a temporary gig. Heart ain’t in it. But you the best one here. Upside down with your legs in the air. I love it when your legs in the air, hold up. I can’t front ma. You good at it. A college student but you hood with it. And I respect that. I put my money on you. And you can bet that. Cause baby girl I can sense we got a vet here. And I’m loving the convo. Gotta work hard that’s a hell of a motto.” The finesse within those words right there is everything. Overall, this selection is a hit as well as a site favorite.
**My Two Cents: Black University is a winning addition to the rest of the works done by Emmitt James. The production is sublime and the content is super official too. I believe Emmitt James is getting bolder and more innovative with his story telling which definitely makes for a more interesting listen. Not that his music wasn’t awesome to listen to before. But it’s great to hear him growing and taking his music to higher levels. Readers definitely need this project in their collections for sure. He graduated this venture at the top of his class, hands down. Don’t forget to check out the latest video for his single “Kanyeness” above. It appears on the LP as well. And if that wasn’t enough, there is a little extra credit available for those interested too. Readers can check it out here. -MinM