Jehst's position as one of the most respected lyricists in the UK is more or less a given nowadays. His dense, intelligent rhymes take some getting into and his style is distinctive enough to divide opinion, but once you've break past the barrier and enter his world, the extent to which he dominates and defines a certain strain and style of UK Hip-Hop becomes both evident and wholly justifiable.
Jehst's influence throughout the UK scene is reinforced by his talent as a producer and his status as the head of the YNR Productions label, a close affiliate of the equally influential Lowlife Records stable.
This mixtape draws upon all of these various roles. We have here numerous examples of Jehst's lyrical prowess, plus plenty of his original beats and remixes and appearances by a number of artists who are moving forward under his patronage. Chief amongst the latter is Sir Smurf Lil of The Colony, an MC whose quirky, individual style and live-wire personality rival Jehst's own. Sir Smurf ably hosts this mix-tape, lacing it with snippets of hallucinatory verbiage and punctuating the flow with his trademark high-pitched, manic laughter.
On the decks meanwhile is the “Baby God”, DJ IQ, rocking at a DMC level at a frighteningly early age and now tearing apart tracks from J-Star's back catalogue with the utmost precision. Having heard IQ's “Offical Volume 3”, I was aware that he represented a force of nature on the cut, but the strength of the material on offer here is immeasurably greater and more consistent.
Guest appearances from a number of YNR associates ensure that, despite a similarly head-nodding style throughout, the listener is unlikely to get bored unless they genuinely dislike the UK THC rap-style on offer. I've never been the greatest fan of Kashmere and Micall Parknsun but they acquit themselves well here and Asaviour, Dubbledge, Conspicuous The Coroner and Stig Of The Dump (featuring NYC doppelganger RA The Rugged Man) turn in performances well up to their normal standards.
From a West Yorks point of view, I should also give a particular shout to the GroundWurq crew from Huddersfield, who provide two strong tracks in the form of Jack Flash's “Living Legend” and posse cut “Play The Beat” – the twisting, Asiatic beat to the latter needs to be heard to be believed.
Despite all of the above, the clear focus and grounding of the whole project is with Jehst's mic slots. His ability to pull out strange and original imagery and punchlines within the conventional structure of a tune amazes me again and again. Yes, this is rap firmly aimed at cotching pot-heads but the quality is undeniable. This stands as one of a few mix-tapes that could serve as a standard for the production and appreciation of British Hip-Hop in it's current form.
Release Date: 27th Aug.
- http://www.myspace.com/ManCanMusic – DJ IQ
02. JEHST SUKI SUKI
03. JEHST NECK BREAK
04. KASHMERE FT JEHST SOULS OF THE UNBORN
05. KASHMERE FT JEHST SOULS OF THE UNBORN (RE SPIT)
06. JEHST & MICALL PARKNSUN WHOS THAT
07. JEHST WORK ETHIC
08. JESHT WORK ETHIC (GROUND WURQ RMX)
09. JYAGER FT JEHST PEBBLEDASH
10. STIG OF THE DUMP FT RA THE RUGGED MAN BRAINDEAD (JEHST RMX)
11. JACK FLASH / JEHST / ASAVIOUR / APA TIGHT & J SIMPLE PLAY THE BEAT
12. JACK FLASH LIVING LEGEND (JEHST RMX)
13. MICALL PARKNSUN DUNYA (MY WORLD) (RMX)
14. MICALL PARKNSUN FT DUBBLEEDGE HUNGRY (JEHST RMX)
15. JEHST FT ASAVIOUR GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER (RMX)
16. JEHST NUKE PROOF SUIT
17. JEHST NUKE PROOF SUIT (IQ RMX)
18. JEHST FT CONSPICUOUS A QUESTION OF SPORT
19. JEHST MENGI BUS ANTHEM
20. JEHST MAGNUM FORCE (MR THING RMX)
21. JEHST FT KONNY KON / MICALL PARKNSUN & ASAVIOUR ORGAN STAB
23. EVIL ED FT JEHST & ASAVIOUR WEED
24. FUNKY FRESH FEW FT DIMES DIMES GOT (JEHST RMX)
25. JEHST PSYCHEDELIC PHLEGM
26. FOREIGN BEGGARS BLACK HOLE PROPHECIES (JESHT WILD WILD EAST MIX)
27. JEHST APE SHIT (BEAT BUTCHA RMX)
28. SIR SMIRF LIL PSYCHO ANALYSIS
29. JEHST 100 BARS & BUNNIN