J Hus - Common Sense - Album of the Week - 22/05/2017
26th May 2017
If Skepta and Stormzy brought Grime and UK Rap into the mainstream (and towards the possibility of international success) then J Hus, real name Momodou Jallow, may be the artist which cements its place there, at the forefront of UK music. Yet to label his music as simply grime or UK rap is to view it narrowly when in reality it fuses multiple London-based sounds into an addictive mix. His debut album effortlessly moves between Dancehall, Afrobeat, Grime, Rap, Garage, R&B and Hip Hop across its 17 tracks, demonstrating J Hus’s versatility.
Produced by the Compozers and featuring Rudimental’s Mark Crown on trumpet ‘Common Sense’ opens the album with confidence seeing J Hus rapping about his new lifestyle since finding success. This is followed by J Hus’s standard Afrobeat sound on ‘Bouff Daddy’ before he shows that he can match the best Grime MCs on the hard-hitting ‘Clartin’. The rest of the album continues in this vein, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Closed Door’, which veers towards Hip Hop with its jazz-lite production, being personal standouts. Credit needs to go to J Hus’s long-time collaborator JAE5 whose production is equally as versatile as J Hus’s writing while still maintaining a cohesive sound.
The lyrics on the album generally deal with J Hus’s rise to popularity. ‘Spirit’ focuses on moving through setbacks in his careers singing ‘They can bun my flesh, but they can’t touch my spirit. They wan’ take way my freedom, they can’t take away my spirit’ while ‘Good Luck Chale’ deals with insecurities since his stabbing in 2015. J Hus mixes these more serious songs with lighter hearted ones. Some of the lines can be slightly juvenile but J Hus’s flow is charismatic enough that generally they come across humorously.
In ‘Common Sense’ J Hus has created a very confident debut album which showcases his abilities to move between styles at ease, justifying the hype which preceded it. With the album reaching number 6 in the album charts and lead single ‘Did You See’ moving its way up the single charts expect to be hearing a lot more from J Hus for the foreseeable future.
Check out the video for ‘Did You See’ below!