Jai (Just an Identity) is a 21 year old South London based vocalist/ rapper. She attributes her unique sound to her diverse musical background which has influences of Reggae, Roots and Soul and to her naturally inquisitive nature.
HERstory is certainly proof of this opinion, the mixtape offers the listener an insight into the day to day lives and views of her and her partner Diva Spark.
Jai; The first lady of Sin Army, and Diva, hailing form North Wes London, linked up creating HERstory within the past year, explore the struggles faced by young women today, and offer a vivid and realistic evaluation of the society which they inhabit.
01. Her Story Intro
02. We’re Doing It
03. Writing Durrty
04. Tru Shattered Glass ft. Manage & Conflix
05. London Burning Remix ft. Matrix
06. Don’t Cha
07. Hiphop ft. Genesis Elijah & Malik (MD7)
08. Connect & Flow
09. Runnin’ Str8spitten ft. Grymey D Logic (PDC)
10. Its Nutd ft. Nutty P
11. Sickening Times
12. Flow For The Streets ft. Flirta D
13. Fall Down
14. Bars All Day
15. Party In The Booth ft. Staxz
16. Mind Wars ft. Leeo
20. So Pure
21. Unity (How High)
22. Herstory Outro
No two tracks featured on the CD are anything alike. They really do showcase their versatility through the Mixtape. Although you can draw comparisons in that each and every track exudes energy and insight.
‘Writing Durrty’ caught my attention, the beat has been borrowed from Chamillionaire it’s a witty take on haters’ perspectives and behaviors, the track is upbeat and Jai’s smooth voice along side Diva’s bars is ideal.
Manage features on a track called, ‘Shattered Glass’ which explores truth and meaning, amongst other concepts, it has a catchy hook and shows that Jai and Diva are more than capable of covering deep content and bringing a darker sound.
Genesis features on a track, ‘Hip Hop‘, the track is based on a single concept, with a simple beat and piano instrumental, big tune.
The duo, do have very different styles and flow but there is something about the contrast which without a doubt works. Jai’s thought provoking, in depth social insights and wordplay is heavy contrast to Diva’s more laid back, hooks and bars. However, don’t be fooled both artists are on a level. They pair possess an amazing natural chemistry which is constant throughout the mixtape.
‘Connect and Flow’ illustrates this, there is an almost oriental sound about the track, the bars are more chilled and relaxed, whilst Jai’s honeyed tones flow over the beat.
A member of the PP fam also features on HERstory, Nutty P blesses the mixtape on a track aptly named ‘Its Nutts‘, that looks at RnB, the media and the hypocrisy which they witness first hand within the UK.
Unify (How high) also stands out on the mix, I’d attempt to define it as a personal prayer almost. It’s a hopeful, truthful track with religious overtones. Its an open ended idea discussing unification, peace and morality. As Hip Hop listeners I find more and more that we are subjected to all sort of ’artists’ take on current affairs etc; however, I would recommend that you invest 3 minutes of your time to take in HERstory’s.
As two females with a male dominated industry they offer their audience and followers an accurate representation of where they’re at, and the opinions they have formed through their lyrical content. They also display an almost tangible hunger and determination to make their mark on the scene with there talent only, ‘Bars All Day’ expresses this.
There is an awareness of this gender issue which is raised on the mixtape more than once, and connotations throughout that they are not talking or using sex to succeed, in fact the opposite, and ‘Don’t Cha’ is a direct attack on those who do employ these tactics done in a light hearted analytical, way.
The diversity of the artists who have collaborated Mixtape and include, Conflix, Malik (MD7), Matrix, Grimey D, Flirta D, Logic (PCD) Stax and LeEo, I believe shows their versatility of HERstory.
It seems as if Jai and Diva, self branded as ’an un-stoppable force’ are set to make waves in the future, or at the very least make their mark, you can catch them down at Speakers Corner, or Bampot; a new Hip Hop night. Love them or hate them, they do offer a true to heart expression of themselves, watch out for them this year, I get the impression there is a lot more to come…
By Laura Beale