From the RLD Records lab comes “The Adventures of Johnny Strange”, the first LP from Jack Jetson, a Nottingham-born, Birmingham residing rapper, who may have slipped under some people’s radar. Well not for long, with the album launching today on a label led by BVA and Leaf Dog (of The Four Owls and Brothers of the Stone). If Jack Jetson has popped up on your radar, it may have been his High Five EP, or his verse on the excellent BotS “Cartoon Days”.
“The Adventures Of Johnny Strange” is out today (links follow this review of course), and weighs in at 13 tracks, all of which are produced by the ridiculously talented beatsmith Leaf Dog, who helps bring a consistency to the album with a range of busty bass heavy numbers and soulful, sample-filled sounds.
Lyrically, Jetson brings us a whole host of multis, on a variety of subject matter, hopping between trips to the moon, straight spitting and blazing zoots. Jetson works hard to own each beat, weaving imagery into the intracacies of some impressive syllable play. A notable example of this is his intro on the hefty Strange Ways:
Also on emcee duty are label head honchos BVA (on “Vitamins”) who, fresh off the back of his recent “Be Very Aware”, comes with his familiar hard-hitting style:
Jack and BVA weigh in on the hook together and Jack puts in a great shift on his verse, all on a real head-nodding number. This one is a standout number on the album.
Leaf Dog laces his unique voice on “Stay True” with an enviable steaze in his flow:
Dirty Dike Esq is the last guest on this release, and the content of his verse will surprise nobody. That’s not a negative, more a seal of quality. Dike’s no-holds-barred material gives Jetson’s verse an aggier edge too.
The last track we’ll mention here is the opener. “Wonderberry” (video follows) is the one you’ll have already heard. Beat-wise, this banger gives an insight into the rest of the album. If you value you your neck muscles, approach this album with extreme caution. Jetson’s voice will get up in your head, and it’s simply a question of which bars will stick and play on repeat up in your mind’s eye.
In what is Jack’s first full release, his lyricism has been impressive across the album. I’ve laughed a few times, and I’ve gone back to hear what he said even more. The boy done good. The only area for improvement here would be consistency in themes. Personally, I feel a track hits harder if it’s got a solid theme throughout it, which also means I can follow the lyrics better, and the message hits home harder. Undoubtedly, this is something Jetson will soon develop. Happily, “Adventures Of Johnny Strange” still packs a hefty punch in all regards, and is one I think you’ll be happy to bump at loud volumes in various states of mind.
In short, with banging beats and admirable lyricism, you get 13 reasonably short, but definitely solid tracks to get your teeth into. Expect more from Jack Jetson and the RLD Records crew very soon.