DOWNLOAD: Jahzel – Jet Lag (Mixtape)
The art of creating a complete, involving project is difficult. To draft and organize, to get a specific theme, subject or emotion is very difficult for even the most accomplished artist. Jahzel, an aspiring rapper from Chicago, has created the perfect stepping stone to an organized and smartly drafted mixtape. Not saying it’s perfect, but to feel as if from beginning to end you are engaged in a complete ride is something to be commended.
Starting with the first track Zero Gravity, you are introduced to the lyrical style and capabilities of Jahzel. Showing comfort and ease, weaving through the futuristic, dreamlike synths, reminiscent of a car commercial, Jahzel instantly displays the ability to rap better than your average artist. But it’s not until Lake Shore Driven that you begin to see the design of the project. The highway infused flutes, mixed with the head bobbing drum patters set you exactly where Jahzel wants you to be. Cruising down your favorite freeway bumping Jet Lag all the way to your destination.
The road, although eventful and bright, does take darker turns. Fear None, a look at the life of Jahzel, over a simplistically somber canvas, shows a lot more depth from the MC. Viewing how his future in education would be relevant to the life he leads, and the rise and fall of his artistry, both are tackled early in the mixtape. As if getting it out the way, Jahzel establishes that through all the boasting and cockiness the value of hard work, persistence, education, and most of all drive, is something he’s learned is needed for successes.
As you journey through the mixtape you begin to understand what pushes Jahzel to what he is now. Business Elite helps you identify with him, as he presents the ideal life that is brought with loyalty and success. On the other hand, remembering where he came from also helps keep him humble amongst all his talent. Inner City Kid (ICK) expounds on this to a surprising degree in which the subject matter is personalized to touch not only on the thoughts of outsiders but of family members who are close to him.
With any road trip there has to be a destination. Outro is the perfect end to a long voyage. The piano laced curtain call has Jahzel reflecting on what he’s learned and thanking those who’ve helped him through life. When looking at this project the flow is fluid, transitioning from song to song in a constant state of journey. The end is perfect as Jahzel repeats that he’s going home and you feel it as well. At first I didn’t think it was purposeful, but then looking at the title felt foolish. Jahzel’s ability to quickly engage his audience and give them a personal view into his life which such subtly is nice to see. While many artists spend entire projects crooning over their “depressing” lives, Jahzel puts it out there and moves on. With time Jahzel will bring perfection to his craft – it starts with losing DJ Whoo Kidd – and when that happens we will see an artist with the ability to have direction. Direction a lot of new artists have trouble with. Direction a lot of established artists sadly overlook.