“Could Of Been Me (Keep On)” [previous review]
James London EP (listen/download)
Poet/emcee Emmitt James took a trip to London this year and the impact his overseas journey had on him was apparently pretty major as he has incorporated it into his work as an artist. The first venture that reflects his new found inspiration is his latest EP, James London. It is an eight track offering jointly executive produced by Emmitt himself and his partner Dark|Horse. Also, it contains just three guest appearances. The EP has garnered nothing but positive feedback since it’s release and thus figured it was time to dig in and see what all of the praise is about. Peep the review after the break.
The production here is classic. It draws upon a sample of an old school groove of the same title made popular by Soul collective Frankie Beverly & Maze. Additionally, there are uptempo secondary components, a catchy rhythm, and a feel good vibe at work. All of the different parts make for a grade A combination. The hook is comprised of vocals from the sample as well as a few words here and there from Emmitt James. It too resonates on the high end of the spectrum. The verses are matchless. Emmitt nails it as he brings a positive toned flow, fine wordplay, and affable rhymes. He conveys a message that is full of light spirited energy. Take notice as he spits: “They say time is money. I guess I’m running out. But I ain’t talking time. That’s word to my bank account. Plus, I don’t rap about s–t that I don’t do. When I’m not being myself that’s the only time I lose. Well who knew? I got goals. I got plans. I got fam. I got fans. (…) So I reckon if it ain’t Emmitt James you can throw on any record but it just don’t feel the same. A young man with an old soul. Who keeps it old school like a Good Times episode.” Those bars provide a favorable & intelligent start to the track. Overall, this song is a hit and a great way to get the ball rolling as it is the very first cut on the album.
“Dressing Room Gig”
The production here is different yet refreshing. It happens to be a remix of “Lofticries” by Electronic band Purity Ring. The eclectic musical ingredients, slow peculiar pace, and somber vibe make for an intriguing blend. The hook is an appendage of the original single too. It fits in properly. The verses are thought provoking. Emmitt utilizes his signature flow, truthful wordplay, and bountiful rhymes. He reflects on the complicated situation of a female who resorts to working in the club for money. A handful of lines worth mentioning are: “I know you just doing what you gotta do, so you can pay rent and finish school. Girl I got debt. I can feel it too. Damn right, I kinda feel what you going through. I know things ain’t the same for you. But that pole wasn’t made for you. Okay I’m fronting. I love it how you drop it like it’s nothing. But I still wonder. Does that pole really make you less than a woman? Or can that quick cash be good for something? It might help you with yo payments but won’t get you out that basement. I know you tired of the struggling. And you could really use the help. But when you go and put them heels on, do you still feel like yourself?” Those bars right there make a serious impression on so many levels. All in all, this is an incredible remake as well as a site favorite.
“We All Made It” F/ Quintin Ferbie Gulledge
This is the final record on the EP and its labeled as a bonus item. The production here is satisfactory. The low key foundation, modest background elements, consistent gait, and easygoing vibe mesh obligingly together. The hook is commendable. The vocals are solid. The lyrics are significant and relatable. The verses are noble. Emmitt presents a coherent flow, proficient wordplay, and ambitious rhymes. He pens a quality anthem of determination as it pertains to being that much closer to turning his dreams into reality. A few memorable lines include: “Young and gifted with a vision. I see like Martin Luther. Used my mind as weapon. Always been a sharp shooter. The things you can do when you use yo medulla. They say talk is cheap. It never pays to spread a rumor. Wait unless you talking James London. I’m three tapes in and I still ain’t changed nothing. But still growing. I’m still driven. And I stand on that. Now try to knock me off my pivot.” Wisely chosen last words right there. In the end, this is a first-rate effort and rewarding extra number.
**My Two Cents: James London is a five star project. The production is seriously legit, Emmitt hit it out of the park with his content, and the guest artists on deck complimented everything suitably. I am truly honored that this was the first project that The Illixer ever had the privilege of hosting. London’s influence did wonders for an already amazingly talented individual. A James London fashion line is next in the works. Readers can catch glimpses of the new and upcoming merchandise by visiting the Facebook link provided at the beginning of the review. I am very proud of Emmitt and can’t wait to see what he does next. -MinM