Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grey Days by JonBlaQ & Mazzini

     The 90's are often referred to as the "golden era" of hip-hop. Whether you agree or disagree with this label, it's evident that the future of hip-hop is still up in the air. Mainstream artists preach cliche' lyrics over club style beats usually with a catchy hook, while the indie artists are preaching quite the opposite. This instability within the genre creates a hip-hop "civil war." Fighting on side of the old school hip-hop heads are rappers, JonBlaQ and Mazzini with their latest release Grey Days, which was presented to the public April 7th.

     Rather than an album comprised of one emcee one producer, Grey Days holds the vocals from both JonBlaQ and Mazzini, and production from various producers. JonBlaQ's resume is nothing to sneeze at; he has opened for Biggie Smalls, Junior Mafia, and more along with having an ever expanding catalog of releases under his belt. His partner Mazzini, hails from North Carolina and brings listeners views and glimpses of what street life really is from an unbiased perspective. His lyrics are very thought provoking and he uses wonderful imagery in his lyrics of vivid detail. Mazzini also produces a few of the tracks on this release!

     These two work amazingly together. Their duo is a little different, and by that I mean they both have very similar lyrics and subject matter that help create one unified theme for each track. This differs from other rap groups because rarely do you get two extremely comparable artists in one group. Take OutKast for example, Big Boi brought you the catchy flows with street flavor while A3K came with the weird, spaced out lyricism that would completely blow your mind.

     The duo speaks mostly on what hip-hop is in comparison to what it should be. Both artists have been exposed to trials and tribulations in their lifetime, and you hear them speak on that in their lyrics. On the album there is a good amount of references to being a Christian and following Christ. As a Christian man myself, I enjoy hearing others profess their faith in the form of hip-hop. There isn't much wrong with the lyricism from either of the two on this album, however, eighteen tracks of similar messages can seem to drag on a bit. 

     The album may have been about six tracks too long, but Grey Days really is a good listen for fans of true hip-hop. If you're someone that isn't into long albums, 90's style rap or even religious references, than maybe this isn't for you. 

     The beats on this album aren't anything that will blow you away. They provide a decent beat for the artists to rhyme over and that's about it. Grey Days is a lyrical album more than anything, and that isn't a bad thing, just that the beats neither stood our nor brought down the albums overall sound. 

     If you want a good listen that will give you a glimpse back in time to that so called "golden era" than this is the album you need to hear. It's a free download, although it's a shame people aren't willing to spend a few bucks on quality music. In all, Grey Days is a very successful release from JonBlaQ and Mazzini, two artists deserving of  true supporters and a multitude of ears.

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