J1S – Gipetto

Chicago rapper J1S, introduces his debut album Gipetto, boasting Godfather-esque aesthetics with the Intro as his alias list, in spirit of early skits, before unleashing the seven tracks on the listener. For this project, J1S linked up with Sonny Trill, O.J., and Cam Daniels. The bonus track of the album rounds out the feature list with Harvey Twain. Although the features provide much needed variety that one expects from such a project, J1S decidedly blazes a trail of how each of the tracks are to be tackled.

The spirit of tracks ranges from airy but with ominous electronic smog, across modern gangsta sweet-talk, to low-key reflective blues of the soul on a recline from ubiquitous hardships. The sound is decidedly trappy, with lyrics shifting between easy to process on the surface, and hard to stomach at the core. Songs intermittently punch with hidden complexities to rejuvenate any easily tiring listener who lets the music slip into the back-channel of their minds.

J1S‘ rap style flows smoothly, with a tinge of fly laziness, reminiscent of early 2000s sound, reforged into a fresh coat – especially when the flows slow down, J1S shows his flexibility, with at times almost exaggerated positioning of his voice to mirror the mood of the beat. He pulls chains of gutter knowledge off with the in-your-face nonchalance of 50 Cent before stepping back the punchiness just a tiny bit to give chance to the hypnotising loops to emerge. This creates a balance between electric sounding vocals and how they root their trill into the background of the trap drums to let the listener breathe. Easy to listen to, Gipetto makes for a smooth ride with the lyrically more complex parts being brought out by the vocals prominence or flow alteration.

The hooks yet again show that J1S is able to anthologise what’s popping and what had been hot for a minute into a single project with only a limited toolbox of features. They range from head spinning dizziness of Rodeo, the initial advanced release, to full on singing on Pretty Tony. Backend, the bonus track, triumphs this concept, unpacking Harvey Twain’s most hypnotising smooth flow which works perfectly alongside J1S’ trilling performance. Fans of hastier tempos will get their fix in Need That. Perfect in the whip or out in the park, Gipetto bumps your head with a pack full of laid back yet intense character on a wave of a morning piff, an electric current of life force.

Honza Luhan