Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Rest Is History (Album Review) - Jin

(All songs produced by Neo Da Matrix unless stated)

1. Intro - The Signing | 1:15 | 3 (Produced by Tuneheadz)
2. Here Now | 3:44 | 3 (Produced by Tuneheadz)
I’m always partial to introspective songs, but the production is relatively uninteresting and all of this doesn’t really help supplement that Jin is going on and on about this.
3. Get Your Handz Off | 3:08 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Swizz Beatz)
Swizz Beatz helps a lot of here.
4. Club Song (Featuring Just Blaze) | 4:15 | 2.25 - 2.5 (Produced by Just Blaze)
For a parody of a club song, couldn’t it at least be a little more exciting? Just Blaze does some of his worst production here I’ve ever seen. Jin does some Smurf line that’s really stupid.
5. The Come Thru (Featuring Twista) | 3:52 | 3.25 - 3.5 (Produced by Bink!)
Essentially what the Club Song really should’ve been. I didn’t know that Twista was rapping for a second there, I thought Jin was doing double-time flow. The chorus is bad.
6. So Afraid | 3:35 | 3 - 3.25 (Produced by K1 Mil)
Battle rap Jin song, just formulated for an album. K1 Mil provides production that I would hear on the internet, which isn’t good.
7. I Got A Love (Featuring Kanye West) | 3:59 | 4.25 - 4.5 (Produced by Kanye West)
Kanye West’s production helps a lot, and during this time it was simply developing. Jin spits at his most genuine here.
8. Chinese Beats (Skit) | 1:57 | 3.5
I love how all these beats sound exactly the same with the twinkling, stereotypical guitar thing. “That’s gabbig!”
9. Learn Chinese (Featuring Wyclef Jean) | 4:34 | 4.25 - 4.5 (Produced by Wyclef Jean)
Still questions me to this day why a Haitian person is producing a chinese song. Jin sounds his most comfortable here, and every Chinese person should memorize this song, which I already did.
10. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly | 4:01 | 3.75 - 4 (Produced by J.R.)
A concept that Jin does successfully, he’s better at storytelling than doing typical, generic tracks. He should try to switch up his flow though.
11. Senorita | 3:54 | 3 - 3.25
Just listen to I Got A Love, though I’m forgiving because I personally like latina girls myself. Rather boring though.
12. Love Story (Featuring Aja Smith) | 4:41 | 3.25 - 3.5 (Produced by Mr. Devine)
While the production is ultimately very dull, I appreciate the honesty in this song.
13. Cold Outside (Featuring Lyfe Jennings) | 3:58 | 3.5
The production gets a little more interesting here, thankfully. Once again, the honesty speaks here.
14. C’mon | 4:07 | 3.5 (Produced by J.R & Denaun Porter)
Production and the emceeing works together in this song. The C’mon gimmick works, to say the least.
15. Karaoke Night (Featuring Styles P) | 3.5 - 3.75 (Produced by Elite)
Cole’s go to producer made his roots here. The production fittingly goes with the stutter flow that Jin seems to adopt here, which fits seemingly “amateur” flow here. Good concept.
16. Same Cry (Featuring L.T) | 3.75 (Produced by Mr. Devine)
I cannot hate on songs like these.
17. Thank You | 6:22 | 4 - 4.25 (Produced by Mr. Devine)
Jin realizes that you should keep the rambling at a low on these kinds of tracks. Very good track, and I think J. Cole sampled this song in Knock, Knock. Everything works here, and it's good that Jin recognizes everyone that helped him along his way.

Overall Rating: 58 - 61.25 | 3.5 / 5 | 68 - 72% | Good; detracting problems; well above average; TRY IT

Welcome Jin, the only major label asian rapper to ever exist in the USA. Essentially, this is a seminal landmark in hip hop, mainly for the fact that this was the first major label album an asian actually put out. However though, much like many debuts, Jin is trying to test out what really works for him, and there are many highs, and many lows on this album.

I think the main issue for me was the sequencing on the album, and the subject matter that Jin likes to talk about. Mainly for the first few songs, Jin wants to appeal to the mainstream crowd, which means club songs with big bass, and intoxicating instruments. While, being from the Florida, Miami area, these kinds of songs would be entertaining with the crowd, Jin does come off as forced, and rather boring. Songs such as Club Song, or Senorita are dull, because Jin knows he can do a lot better than the generic rapper.

However, there’s the other side of Jin, which is the overtly introspective Jin that this album really tries to exenuate after those “mainstream” tracks. Again, blame the sequencing, because these tracks roll and roll off each other, which (feeling guilt for saying this) comes off boring, and just goes on and on, because their all next to each other. The production, especially on songs such as Here Now, C’Mon or Love Story are especially dull, and cliche, really hampering the album down.

Yet, I really don’t want to bash on the only asian representing the U.S.A. Jin does have untapped creativity, which is expressed on songs such as the niche Learn Chinese, soulful production such as I Got A Love, the stuttering chugging Karaoke, the trumpet-typical Swizz blaring Get Your Handz Off, and even the seminal conclusion, Thank You. Elements like these scattered all throughout the album make you appreciate Jin the emcee more.

My main gripe about this album was the production. Almost all the tracks here really have hampering, boring production, and as Jin said on one of his skits, “That’s gabbig!”

There are other problems though, it's mainly the little things that bother me, mainly the terrible sequencing / order of the songs, where it was just put on there, or the fact this album goes on a little too long, which I blame the introspective tracks put in the end for giving it a slow feel.

All in all, it’s a flawed debut album, though it’s an admirable effort from someone like him. Label politics and the standards of the people here really have driven a guy like this away. He really could’ve done something here, but Asia is where he belongs though, considering he’s more appreciated there. Jin really is a humble emcee in the heart, amongst all his battle rapping, and his other range of subjects, which really should be considered. It really is a damn shame most asians in the states know that this dude exists.

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