Words By Prop Jay
If you haven’t let the Jansport era capture a spot on your iPod yet, here’s another opportunity with a few choice cuts from the depth of my Jansport straight to yours (||).
Both Asheru and Blue Black are unheralded. Asheru’s crowning achievement is the Boondocks theme, while Blue Black wishes he could claim anything of the sort. Regardless, their music should not be overlooked. Truly Unique reps the often forgotten lighter side of the Jansport era and does so well. The backdrop is bubbly and both artists flow over it seamlessly to create a track that easily would be missed if one wasn’t to already check for these cats.
Sweatshop Union consists of three collective groups of emcees, the names of which honestly are irrelevant. The conglomeration hails from Vancouver, Canada and are much closer to the “college” Asher Roth vibe than straight thug shit. This track always has caught my ear but not much else of their works makes it past a couple seconds of play. Their sound is awkward but is still a play on hip hop. The lyrics aren’t up to par,but it’s forgivable as the song truly shines during the third verse by Kyrpios. It’s his smooth half-Rap, half-R&B soulful flow that saves it and gives it whatever co-sign it needed to make it to my Jansport hall of fame.
Project Blowed epitomizes the origins of “Nerd Rap.” The early beginnings of the open mic were housed in a coffee shop that later grew to two releases, each of which found their place in the genre’s strange foundations. “Solo is So Low” is a highlight of the first album. Somewhere in between rap and something else, this track definitely bumps and has that 90’s feel though it’s a distant relative of its stated genre. Beyond this ,these three cats are the most obscure artists I can think of.
Murs may be the artist that introduced me to the Jansport era. His flow always reminds me of “California”; he’s just always telling some skateboard/girl-problems story and it seems West Coast. “18 W/ a Bullet” is off of his 2003 album, The End Of The Beginning and just has that laid back vibe. His lyrics are a throwback talking about “movin’ crowds” rather than guns such. He is always good for a casual listen and may be one of the few of the Jansport Era who’s able to project his “backpack rap” beginning to a more mainstream Hip-Hop fanbase.
Slug can rap, period. I’m a fan of a few white rappers, including the most famous of them, but Slug is easily my favourite. Production wise, Ant is unrecognized but seems to always come through. “Trying To Find A Balance” gets loud as it progresses and Slug catches you off guard with his abrupt cadence hitting at just the right time. This one’s off his 2003 release Seven’s Travels and was an album I looked over until a few years after its release…I wish I hadn’t.
Previously Posted — My Jansport Weighed A Ton…