Review: Jake One, White Van Music

I was telling my friend Aaron the other day, there are very few times that I can listen to an album and be able to tell from the opening track that it’s going to be something special. The opening track I’m Comin’ on White Van Music is exactly that which features guest apprearances from Black Milk (one of my favorite artists right now) and Nottz (both of whom are producing emcees). This track hit me in the face like a baseball at ninety miles an hour from the first note, to the guitar riffs to the sped up vocal sample, this opening track is amazing. Not to mention that for a producer Black Milk spits fire that will torch any beat, he has a rhyme that really stands out to me on the song “The team’s here you see us we all comin/the axe flow I swing it like Paul Bunion.”

With the sleu of emcees Jake has on this album, it makes it pretty hard to pick out the favorites on this album but you know every track is going to be quality. I would have to say the Black Milk is a close favorite to two other songs. The Truth is track 3 on the album and it has Jake mixing the best of both worlds (main-stream and Underground Hip-Hop) with Brother Ali & Freeway on the same track. The Truth is another definite standout track on the album with heavy horn sounds and a great vocal sample in the background. Freeway comes out swinging on the microphone, and Ali comes out with his always thought provoking lyrics “The big music business I seldom get a mention/but the few that do zoom in respect me as a legend”. Oh Really is a track that puts De La Soul emcee Posdnous and Atmosphere‘s own Slug, and although it’s a pretty short track it’s a great one. I have to honestly say that Slug overpowers Posdnous on this track though with a huge metaphor comparing music to food and downloading music to safe sex. Kissin’ the Curb might be the grimiest beat on the entire album and it features artists Bishop Lamont & Busta Rhymes (coincidence that the grimiest cats are on the grimiest track?). The beat for Kissin’ the Curb reminds me of something that any of the producers from the Aftermath Crew (Dre, Shady, Mr. Porter) would do, which is also somewhat of a coincidence to me but this track really is great. Another one of my favorites on the album is called White Van and features super producer/emcee Alchemist, one of my favorite artists (producer/emcee as well) Evidence (also of Dilated Peoples) and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. White Van features a good emsemble of strings and guitar that makes for a great soundscape to rhyme over. I will give the most clever track on the album to Get ‘Er Done which features always interesting and legendary MF Doom. The opening rhyme on this song explains the entire album: “Make no mistake son it’s Jake One/He likes his beats well like I likes my steaks done”. Every beat on this album is top notch and every emcee on each beat accents the track perfectly. I saved the best track for last of course which is entitled Glow and it features my favorite emcee (at the moment) Elzhi from Detroit and Royce Da 5’9″ (also from Detroit). This might be the most lyrically engaging track on the album and one of the best beats as well. Elzhi decimates this track with his mind engaging lyrics and vicious animal-like flow: “Create an iller scene here’s what I really mean/I make the whole city glow like the video from Billie Jean”.

Overall I would say that Jake One has one of the most refreshing Hip-Hop albums I have heard so far this year. I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of any artists that are on the mainstream airwaves, but somehow Jake bridges the gap and makes it sound fantastic. With White Van Music Jake One really steps up his game as a “super-producer” and puts his name on the map. I am a huge fan of producers and I think it’s great to see them step from behind the boards and put out their own albums. You owe it to yourself to go pick up Jake One: White Van Music. If you love Hip-Hop then it would make sense to own one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2008.



6 Responses to “Review: Jake One, White Van Music

  1. Nice review! Everyone needs to GET IN THE VAN today!!!!!

  2. Nice review, homie.

    The DOOM tracks are my favorite on the album, but the best beat to me is “God Like.” That shit is too smooth.

  3. […] this summer with The Stimulus Package. The chemistry that those two displayed on Jake One’s White Van Music was ridiculous, and I can’t imagine what an entire album is going to sound like. Make sure […]

  4. […] I knew that this pairing was going to be something special. After hearing these two collaborate on White Van Music, it was quite evident that Freeway & Jake One needed to do more work together. I still have […]

  5. […] One; of course, Ali did a couple tracks with ANT as well. If you remember Jake One’s album White Van Music, then you know that he works very well with Ali. Upon seeing the tracklisting, I instantly became […]

  6. […] beatsmith Jake One – who handled all of the production on the album. When Jake One released White Van Music back in 2008, it was instantly obvious that these two make magnificent music together, and Mourning […]

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