Baby J has rapidly become well known in Hip Hop, mainly in the UK but as a result of working with Wu-Affiliate Shabazz the Disciple, Brand Nubian and Dead Prez and others there are some in the US who will also know his name. His knack for sampling already insanely catchy songs and matching them up to MC's and singers who are actually decent has seen him score a few successes.
'Young, Gifted & Black' featuring Dynamite MC got loads of Radio 1 airplay, he produced a good few tracks on Skinnyman's album debut 'Council Estate of Mind' and entirely produced Blade's last ever album 'Guerrilla Tactics'. He has had two great 'Mixtapes' (F.T.P. & FTP2: Fight The Power) that are really more like production albums featuring the likes of Fallacy, Mr Ti2bs, Rukus, Yogi, Ty, Klashnekoff, A-Alikes and Moorish Delta 7 as well as others.
Now, Baby J has 'Fix The Problem: FTP The Mixtape pt.2' which slightly confused me because I didn't even know the first one existed (it does, it's called 'For The People: FTP The Mixtape' and if anyone wants to send me a copy, be my guest). Anyway, 'Fix The Problem' seems to follow along the lines of the first mixtape in that it's got hundreds of tracks, each one a verse from a different rapper.
Actually it's got 'MORE THEN 60 OF THE WORLDS BEST BLACK MUSIC ARTISTS, PERFORMING OVER BABY J'S GREATEST INSTRUMENTALS' – and this is where I take my only issue with this CD. In that one sentence, emblazoned (well not quite, but it's there) across the front there are 2 errors that annoy me and something else that just nags me. First, 'MORE THEN' – it's 'More than' and secondly, 'WORLDS BEST' when it should have an apostrophe – 'World's best'. Now I know that sounds fussy but if you want to be professional, spelling and grammar is important. The third thing that gets my goat is 'BLACK MUSIC ARTISTS'. I don't like that as an umbrella name for Hip Hop, Grime, R'n'B and whatever else it encompasses, especially when half of the folks on here are white! Gripe done.
It's a great collection of guest verses (there are 65 tracks / verses) from the likes of Million Dan, Jehst, Shameless, Brotherman, Asher D, Young Max, Yungun and Dynamite MC and obviously, a flippin' truckload more. Consider this a starter course for Baby J's 'Baby Food' album, scheduled to drop in October.
The big single off 'Baby Food' is 'Lies', a simplistic track that features Asher D (going by his real name – Ashley Walters – trying to shake off the old So Solid / jailed for gun crime associations?). For you Americans, he's the guy who played one of Marcus's mates in 50 Cent's 'Get Rich or Try Dying' film (y'know he got shot and was in hospital and that). It also features UK R'nB 'sensation' Nathan. It's a really catchy, insanely radio friendly, modern sounding piece of slick UK Hip Hop; it's destined to attract teenyboppers / radio listeners and props to Baby for that! It's got a nice, light summery vibe to it too; it'll be unoffensive to your ears as you sit back in your hammock this August.
Check back here in the autumn / fall for a review of 'Baby Food'. As a fan who has actually bought his previous work (Gasp! People buy music?!), I'm really looking forward to it especially since I know it's going to feature guests old and new: Million Dan and Farma G (of Task Force) being my most anticipated collaborations!