While Jim Jones may not be the King of New York (or even Harlem), he can still hold his head up high as he holds the crown for King of the Ad Lib. It may not be the most coveted title, but it’s like that sometimes. Most people use ad libs to reward listeners who pay attention to lyrics by throwing in comments or jabs to add a little something extra to the song. Not Jones, he shouts and squeezes his in between every pause of silence so that they fight with the actual verse for the listener’s attention.
I first noticed his gift for ad libs when “We Fly High,” was dominating airwaves back in ’06. Anyone who has the audacity to shout out “twinkle, twinkle” after letting you know that he’s fly as the stars is always a winner in my book. It doesn’t translate well in writing, but to hear a grown man say that and make it sound like a normal phrase definitely has a gift. As much as I hate the word swag, it’s the only word I can think to describe what it takes for some of the things that he says to not make me stop the song and say “what the hell is he talking about?”
Conventional wisdom would suggest Young Jeezy as the King due his stock four or five ad libs appear on every song, but they little more than stop gaps for him to catch his breath or take a quick hit of the blunt. At this point I seriously doubt that he even says them anymore, instead letting the engineer “fill in the blanks” so to speak with a click of the mouse. On the other hand, Capo uses his ad libs to give added description to a line or move a verse forward (maybe because he isn’t capable of actually putting in the verese.) Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I picture him exercising as much effort into his ad libs as his verses.
I won’t even form my lips to tell the lie by saying that he’s in my list of top rappers, but I will say that I do check out his songs for the ad-libs. So in truth if you can’t be the King of New York (debatable) or King of Features (Busta), I suppose the King of Ad Libs isn’t a bad consolation prize right? I mean everybody wants to be known for something.
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