Filed under: Albums,Grown Man Rap,New Rap That Doesn't Suck,Rap Veterans,Reviews
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
There’s nothing like trying to “grow-up”, figuring out that being “mature” sucks and figuring out that maybe you weren’t such a screw-up after all. Such is the tale of J-Zone’s Peter Pan Syndrome, his timely return to rap following an extended period in the wilderness that is the “real world”. If you were a fan of the Old Maid Entertainment crew during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, you’ll be familiar with Zone’s dry sense of humor and love for ignorant rap, as well as ear for unorthodox samples and a razor-sharp chopping technique for this beats. It’s been nine years since he dropped his last solo project, and in the interim he’s learnt how to play drums, worked some shitty jobs and realized that the concept of “too old to rap” is some ol’ bullshucks.
Playing like an updated version of Ice Cube’s first couple of albums, Peter Pan Syndrome delivers a collection of skits, short songs and ig’nant alter egos (Chief Chinchilla and Swagmaster Bacon) to tell the tale of a rap fanatic in his mid-30’s who’s fed-up with the expectations of “polite society”. In some ways, J-Zone is rap’s answer to Fred Sanford – a grumpy, penny-pinching technophobe. He refuses to indulge in the modern day ritual of texting broads (“Gadget Hoes”), suggests that a quick spate of purse snatchings would be a valuable educational experience for recent New York transplants (“Trespasser”), attempts to pull a “slip and sue” at Whole Foods (“An Honest Day’s Robbery”) and vents frustration at shallow broads (“Black Weirdo”).
While it could be argued that it’s still possible to get married, buy a house and have bunch of rug rats without setting fire to all your old rap tapes, Zone’s observation that you’ll soon need a doctorate to sell fruit is really the key issue here. Why break your back working some dead-end job when you could be making rap albums and earning the same (minimum) wage? The addition of Zone’s drumming, whether live or sampled into one his ancient beat machines, give his tracks that extra crunch, while the wise-cracking approach to what are clearly serious issues for aging rap fans make this the most accomplished and entertaining project of his career.
Pre-order the tape or CD version here.
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