First of all, I need to admit I never thought this day would come. Now, I’m not referring to the fact I’m blogging with the best of them, although that is an honor in itself, but rather that I’m actually writing a proper review to a Jim Jones album.
Suffice to say I’m not a hardcore Dipset fan, but at the end of the day I’m all about the music, which is why I decided to give Capo’s first single, which at the time was Blow Your Smoke, featuring R&B singer Rell, a proper listen. It’s a chilled-out number that I’d never expect to hear from Jim, specially still having Nah Nanana [or whatever that shit is called] fresh in my memory. With a laid back hook that goes “This goes out from the streets of Harlem to everywhere … Blow your smoke.” and some tolerable rapping, Jones got my attention.
Once you press play, you’re greeted with an haunting Lenz Craft beat that welcomes an extremely excited rapper that blasts off for nearly 2 minutes. Once the beat finally calms down near the three minutes mark, you see how there might be some craft to this album after all, down to the choice of guests – And there is.
The first radio-friendly attempt comes later than usual [by 2011 standards, that is] on track 5, Heart Attack, and even so, Triple-A provides an instrumental piece that clearly outshines any previous collaboration with DJ Webstar, with which Jim Jones recorded a whole album two years ago. Not much of this commercial aim is spotted on the album, though, and Capo clearly doesn’t want you to focus on R&B numbers: Guests Ashanti and Rell are present, but on the two shortest tracks on the album. [which is a shame in the case of Let Me Fly, as it does outshine Blow Your Smoke]
Perfect Day, featuring Chink Santana and Logic, who produced the track, is one of the tracks that doesn’t fit the project. The impression I get from seeing the video is that it’s not a pop track for the sake of being a pop track, but it has no purpose on the Tracklist other than announcing you where exactly it starts going downhill, as only two tracks later is God Bless The Child, a complete train-wreck that, trust me, you wanna avoid.
With pretty diversified production and familiar names Game and Raekwon amongst the guests, Capo resembles 2010 release H.F.M. 2, as it showcases some quality street music that stands out and clearly claims its place amongst the likes of Lupe Fiasco and Wiz Khalifa. [or Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, extending the H.F.M. 2 comparison]
Not all is good, of course, as some elements on Capo might not please Hip Hop fans. One thing Hip Hop fans might expect from Jim Jones when featuring Prodigy on his first featured track after the release from prison, Take A Bow, would be the excitement about the epic potential of the event [of course, ignoring the fact it’s a Jim Jones song,] quite like Nas displayed on Dog Shit, but, interestingly enough, there’s a balance throughout the whole album that Jim Jones insists on maintaining even here, without trying to do much to match his guests [guests, since Lloyd Banks is also there, and with a pretty good verse,] without trying to make an event out of it, without even getting more than a “good enough” beat. For him, it’s just another record on the tracklist and, although that ends up benefitting the project as a whole, it sure does encourage a bit of disappointment.
Also, Capo doesn’t feature much of Juelz Santana as many fans pointed out once the tracklist was revealed. To be honest, the heavy use of Chink Santana and specially Sen City features here is not nearly as bad as I thought it’d be, but be aware for the fact one of the main Dipset members is missing here.
Nevertheless, Capo is a quality release in today’s market and that should be viewed as an accomplishment, since Jones himself was responsible for the Ron Browz craze in 2008 with the release of Pop Champagne. Holding it to his standards, it’s easy to see why you should listen to it as not only most of the tracks will easily make their way onto your playlists, but some might even get repeated spins.
Preview the album’s standout track Carton Of Milk below for reference. Let me know what you think of the album.