Review: Johnson & Jonson, Johnson & Jonson


Johnson & Jonson is a group that is comprised of Los Angeles emcee Blu and up-and-coming producer Mainframe. The first thing that I really want you to understand is that this cat Blu can tear apart bars like a prisoner on steroids. I had mentioned in a post that if you hadn’t heard the Blu & Exile project Below the Heavens you needed to. I have no problem with making that statement, it was easily one of the top albums of last year, and I haven’t heard an emcee/DJ duo like that in a long time. The one thing that you need to understand is that Blu is one of those emcees that you totally build tracks around. Blu is so versatile and can rhyme to almost any beat that you provide him with. That’s what I liked about Below the Heavens, you got some of those hard ass hitting beats, and then there were the super soulful beats that were much more calm. Blu is another one of the cats that you really have to watch for, he (along with Evidence, and coincidentally Blu is on the new Evidence EP) is one of the hardest working guys in the game right now. He put out the critically acclaimed Below The Heavens last year, then he put out an album as part of the collective C.R.A.C. Knuckles with Detroit native Ta’Raach, and is now dropping the J&J album.

Right out of the gate Blu has the rhyme thing going on. “J & J” is a great track, and it shows that Blu’s flow has the bite of a pit bull. He rhymes over a beat with thrashing cymbals, bleepy synths and a wicked ass bass line with such ferocity that you would think his next meal depended on it. “Up All Night” is a perfect example of what I mean with Blu switching up his flow. On “J&J” Blu is rapping pretty fast, and then on “Up All Night” Mainframe totally slows down the beat and puts in a nice bass line with some basic drums, but as I said before it sounds like Blu was meant for the beat. I have to say that “Mama Told Me” is one of my favorite highlights of the album. It has a feel good horn driven beat and Blu reminisces on his childhood and the lessons that he learned as a child. The great thing about Blu is that he can bring you the punchlines, similes and metaphors, but he can also tell one hell of a story at the same time.

Another thing that I really have to get into is Mainframe. I hadn’t really heard of him until this project came out, and I’m glad I was exposed to his style. He is one producer who can really switch up a style and still make it sound really good. Mainframe will be one of those producers you really want to look for in the near future. We are talking about a guy that as of right now only has just over 2,000 hits on his MySpace, after this album blows up Mainframe will start getting some bigger projects.

Something I want to point out is that the majority of the tracks on this album are three minutes or less. That means that a lot of these tracks are pretty brief. Shakespear once said “Brevity is the soul of wit”, I think this album might be an exact representation of that quote. Blu & Mainframe tend to keep it brief but boy this album definitely makes its mark. After hearing Johnson & Jonson I know you are going to want to hear more from both of these artists. The album makes for a great listen and the humorous additions to the Johnson family are an added plus (Mainframe rhyming as Jon Johnson, Miguel Jontel as Tell Johnson, Co$$ as Troy Johnson and Bobo Lamb as Jack Johnson).

8/10

Check the video for “J&J”

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