David “Poncho” Jenkins was born in Chicago Heights, Ill. Along with his mother and younger brother, Poncho moved to Minnesota in 2001 at the age of 12, and began rapping during the last few months of his senior year of high school, in 2007. His latest project, is the 4 track EP “Vibezzz”. When I hit play on the opening track, “In The Middle” ft. Alec Waters, my first thought was, “that’s sounds weird”. Now if you’re thinking “weird” is a bad or negative thing, you’re wrong. It sets you apart. In rap and Hip-hop, where often so much music sounds so much like the same thing, “weird” can be a part of something really, really good. It’s not surprising, then, that some of the “weirdest” rap music of all time have also been some of the most influential. Everyone wants to be different, so when an artist achieves something that both makes you want to scratch your head and tap your foot, you know it’s something special. That’s the first impressive impact Poncho aka Chosko makes on you.
He has a high pitched, supersonic flow, and an infectious rhyme scheme going on, while the track is infected by an electronic soundscape and a deep-voiced melodic hook being crooned on top of full adlibbed harmonies, and a finger-snapping beat. It’s a contrast that makes you sit up and take notice.
On the first listen it’s weird, on the second, it’s interesting, and by the third spin you’re captivated by such diversity. If you used the term ‘alternative hip-hop’ in past decades, you were speaking of something completely different than what we get in 2018.
Alternative sounds in hip-hop are becoming the norm, and outliers in modern rap are branching out further and further from the traditional boom-bap of the ’80s and the gritty styles of the ’90s.
“Dreamer’s Society” is another example of Poncho’s creative artistry. Using an array of highly irregular voices, which is mesmerizing throughout this EP, he again changes his style on this track. Sharing the space with Major Marley Moan, Poncho’s flow revolves around a battery of words, which he delivers so quickly, you can almost see the consonants spinning in place around the vowels.
But it’s on “Ayii Yi Ya” featuring Major Marley Moan and Putch that Poncho unleashes his energy in one of the more powerful, yet rhythmically groovy songs you’ll hear in this set. Every song on “Vibezzz”, is so uncompromisingly idiosyncratic, it might drive you crazy at first, but you’ll learn to love it.
“Pray For Me” featuring Scottie B, is where the EP reaches its performance apex. This may just be the most impacting song in the bunch. Few other upcoming rappers carry this kind of untamed aura, the unpredictable lyricism, and a voice that is so off-kilter.
This EP shows the power of Poncho’s independence. He doesn’t have to follow any of the rules that major label artists are forced to treat as law. So the music that awaits listeners here is – unorthodox, fierce, and full of surprises. That’s what makes this release so exciting!