Hip-Hop | Rap
2020 has been a year of many twists, turns, and new possibilities. And one of the most prominent of those possibilities is that many people have been able to push themselves to creates bodies of new music during the quarantine period. As a result, we have been treated to many unique and innovative tidbits of new music.
Along with this, 2020 has also seemingly become the year in which YouTube creators who have made music, are really beginning to break through the barrier created by those who don’t take YouTubers seriously in the case of their music.
This was arguably trail-blazed by the debut album from the insanely multi-talented YouTube creator known as KSI, titled Dissimulation, which I think I have decided to finally review towards the end of the year.
But today, we will be going over an entirely new project from a different member of the YouTube platform, that being Jay Swingler of the extreme dares collective TGF, under his musical alias of Jimbo.
TGF have been a channel that I have watched and enjoyed for many years. The groups unique approach and incredible investment towards all of their challenges and dares allow them to truly stand out amongst that sector of YouTube.
One of the leading members of TGF, Jay Swingler, has indeed made music before. With the standalone single that was “Red Bank Notes” fans of the channel managed to get a taste of what Jay was musically capable of. The bass-heavy and gritty aesthetic of the tune is something that will translate into the new EP that is Jimbo’s House Party.
The adoption of the musical alias suggests to me that the likes of “Red Bank Notes” were essentially a musical trial run for Jay, and that this EP is a truly sacred moment for him. This EP has a total of five tracks, and runs for a total of roughly eleven minutes, which I feel is a very suitable duration for an EP; not too patience testing, but still substantial enough at least to feel like a complete project. It also gives me a bit of leeway to review this EP track-by-track without dragging on for too long.
The EP’s opening track comes in the form of “VHS”, and as soon as that bassline hit’s, I was completely sucked in to just how hard it hit. I imagine that this would be a fantastic track to hear live, and in equal measure, it is a fantastic opener.
Following this, we have the only track on the EP, to have a featured artist. “Baby Don’t Go” features the talent of Yxngxr1, and overall feels like the most polished of all of the tracks on here, thanks to the insane flow, and the bewitching production.
“Shotty” is the midpoint of the EP, and the typical slow-burning tune, in terms of production. I think that lyrically, and in terms of production, it is unfortunately the weakest of the tracks in my opinion. I simply feel like, whether it be timekeeping reasons, or the feeling that a slow burner was essential on the EP, that it felt very tokenistic and unfinished.
Following this, however, we have the phenomenal “Matte Green” which was the teaser that arrived to us a week before the EP’s release. I love the production on this, which makes the track seem very much like a slowthai-inspired UK rap banger.
Closing the EP off is “2012” which actually fills the role of being a slow-burner as well, while also fitting a lot better into the EP’s overall aesthetic thanks to its grittiness. And while, as a result, I love the beat on this thing, some of the vocal effects on this track threw me off a little, and consequently took me out of the moment. The effect in question is the excessive use of fuzz in the vocals which somehow make Jimbo sound as if he has a lisp, which was in equal measure amusing and confusing.
I want to approach this review’s conclusion with a final bit of criticism, and one last bit of praise as well. Getting the rant out of the way first, I wasn’t the keenest towards the multiple sound-clips that were hyping up how good the song or the beat was. Listeners don’t need to be told a song is sick, if like me, they firmly believe that already.
But the final positive point I wanted to make, is that Jimbo absolutely smashed it with this project, when it comes to steering it away from the likes of YouTube and TGF. When I listened to Jimbo’s House Party, I didn’t think of the guy from TGF playing around with music; I knew I was listening to a serious project, with tonnes of heart and soul poured in to it.
And with that, I feel that this review will barely matter to Jay anyway, as it’s clear to see that this EP is his musical baby, and it is completely his own project; independently wrote, produced, and released, this is a shining example that while not everybody can be a great music artist, a great music artist can come from anywhere (yes, I took that quote from Ratatouille, allow it).
Favourite Tracks: VHS | Baby Don’t Go | Matte Green
Least Favourite Track: Shotty