Hailing from the Bronx, John J is inspired by the greats, Tupac, Nas, Joe Budden, AZ and Jay Z. After his critically acclaimed EP release “Still Howling”, the gravelly toned underground emcee is back with a brand new and even more epic sounding EP – “The One You Feed”. This studio recording from John J, is seven tracks and of soul-bearing that dazzlingly showcases hip hop as a therapy session for both artist and listener. The Bronx emcee, has dropped all the cringe-worthy pop inhibitions and lurid flash in the pan guest spots that weighs down 99% of hip-hop today. In turn, he renders the most complete portrait of his inner-self to date.
On “The One You Feed”, John J’s lyrics are not light brush strokes, instead the speech found herein shines as a reminder of the tremendous caliber of his unique talent. Noteworthy facets creep undeniably into the many layers of John J’s vivid – as if you’re living it yourself – narrative.
This is seen most elegantly in the superb cinematic opener and title track, “The One You Feed”. This features the exhilarating vocals of guest singer Shauna Cardwell.
We also hear his ability to build powerful songs, as John J does in the in the emotionally frank account on “Behind The Smile”. This can also be exemplified in the three minute and twenty-five-second emotional rollercoaster “Yellow Ceilings”.
On “Great One” John J seems to be hungrier than ever and is out to remind hip-hop of the abilities that will eventually bring him to the forefront of the industry. Not only that, but he’s doing it independently.
“Dad Life” sees John J discuss his parental role. He does so with self-assertive declarations, which illustrates one of the most emotionally candid, and tender, quips the artist has constructed to date. This EP shows its ability to create a tone and thematic consistency while John J’s growth and evolution as an artist since his last release is undeniable.
Even when he dabbles in the mainstream convention, as is heard in the hook-filled “Long Way”, it remains incredibly inventive. Astonishingly, it never feels like the artificial gimmick this template has long become in the hands of others.
Even in these instances, as on the energetic closer, “Toast To A Vibe”, we are issued an example of rap at its most beautiful and at its purest and most poetic. John J has liberated himself, and his audience will feel the same way with every note and moment found on “The One You Feed”. It makes John J and his music fascinating and one of a kind.
His charisma, invention in rhyme scheme and general air of authenticity also seem to be at a zenith here. This EP represents the genre at its most honest and unpretentious. This is the product of the craft stripped of its unyielding egotism; an example of everything it was to begin with and that sadly got lost along the way. All it takes is one person like John J to bring it back!