Will Smith’s collaborator is back, and for his comeback album he’s chosen to take you on a ride to pick up his son in a rented car, minus the CD player.
I’m not on some kind of weird acid flash back, it’s the truth. It’s a naïve idea but it works, strangely enough.
As he drives Jeff flicks through the radio channels, switching moods with the efficiency of a person with a severe split personality.
The opening track ‘Hip Hop’ is a life affirming, positive stab at the music that Jeff thinks has dragged the perception of African Americans down to nothing more than Lo-Riding gun jockeys. It’s also a way of defending his career so far. For the record he is real, and a good role model.
Come on, the guy’s on the way to pick up his son – what’s he going to say?
Strangely enough the song has strong parallels to Scritti Politti’s dalliance with Hip Hop on the underrated ‘Anomie and Bonhomie’.
In all seriousness though, this is an upbeat justification album of the highest order.
A particular favourite is the beautifully melodic ‘The Definition’. The lyrics lay out the requirements for being a top drawer MC. But it also boasts a completely absorbing piano hook. This is the stuff of nostalgic drives through the old neighbourhood, trying to stay cool in the blazing Californian sun, rich with the smell of hundreds of cook-outs.
He’s been accused of selling out, but Jazzy Jeff is for real – you want the proof?
Check out this incredible album.
Does he get to his son?
There’s only one way to find out.