A full length project straight from a Hiphop Soul, representing Uptown, Chicago. Jezi has been representing all elements since the early 90’s, providing authentic Hiphop Arts Education for the last 12+ years as part of Kuumba Lynx, Connect Force, Columbia College After-school Program and the Elephant Rebellion organizations.
As the dishwasha (his DJ alia), Jezi has been an institution of the local Hiphop/BBoy scene providing the sonic backdrop to countless events and battles. Having rapped on many features and compilations, the time has come for a LP that captures the spirit of himself with absolutely no features, and completely self-produced, with all scratching being handled by himself as well. This is a culmination of years of building and development to really try to establish a range of rap music that Jezi chooses to cover.
The beginning of the LP is a prologue with just a dope beat and some scratches to draw you into the galaxy that is Barswords, followed immediately by a 1-2 wake up and do your dreams combination in the first two tracks. A Pen and A Mic are Jezi’s swords of choice and this song is a mantra of stay woke and focused to rise and shine as the best MC possible, everyday, every night. Do Dream$ is the second half of this mantra in an inspirational call to proactively manifest this inner most desires we waltz through in dreamland, but have the power to realize in our day to day.
Artswordz is the previous title track before the title was changed to Barswords in favor of a more rap-based distinction. However, being that MCing is the Art of Bars, this title cut was kept for the LP and indeed pretty much encapsulates the vibe of the whole project in its hypeness and dynamic structure. 4 Ever is a meditation on the value of our Kulture. It ain’t hard is a reflection on the machismo, gangster image rap music is inundated with. Then Handle that biz is a more pragmatic motivational song detailing some key steps all artists must attend to if earnestly attempting to make gains in the music business.
The LP continues on a journey through colorful wordplay and diverse yet consistently funky Hiphop vibes on jazzy productions in Come Thru, Tha New Dope, and the newer more aggressive title cut Barswordz. Tetsuo Mode is a stand out experimental track where Jezi really leaves this realm on the bars to a sinister-yet-evolved vibe derived and inspired by the film it deals with: Akira. The closing tracks are a high contrast jump in to All One, a rallying call to notice our intrinsic connectedness accentuated by Pryhme Directive’s clarified mission statement. Closed out by a piece that pays homage to two films that really help shape Jezi as an artist, Wildstyle Rockers is also a hard, cold look at himself and his position in society, as if to say, if I had only one more verse to tell the world what I’ve noticed, this would be it. Rounded out at the end with some shout outs of resepct to pioneers and young ancestors recently passed/still with us, The LP concludes with a solid resolution of what it’s all about: Humanity.
This type of work is rare in this day and age and is clearly an earnest attempt to bring balance and contrast to the prevalent themes in less kulture-centric versions of the HipHop LP. A refreshing long play of tracks that actually weave together in theme and drive, this serves to remind this ADD-afflicted generation that there’s much much more to this art than instant gratification singles and so-called “mix tapes” that only tread in the shallowest of Hiphop’s Kosmic potential.