Let That Be The Case: Quarter After (Justis x Marcus D) – G Between Us

The following is the first installment of a new review series we’re trying out, “Let That Be The Case”, enjoy!

Review after the jump –>

Quarter After – “G Between Us”
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So I got a special invite to attend a local event (that happens every Tuesday in Seattle) at the Capital Club. I show up and I see a lot of local emcees and friends, in which I run into a familiar face: Justis, who is accompanied by producer Marcus D.

We chop it (talk) about the politics of town emceeing, and how it is to be a minority in the town doing hip hop. We both agreed: it is very rare to see a SKILLED minority (let alone black) emcee in this town make it to the public eye here. With that said he later slips me a CD of their latest work: G Between Us.

Buzzed off my ass from 1$ beers, I decided tomorrow would be a good review date, and here I am…slight headache and sober.

(Since its only 7 tracks I decided to break it down track by track…this will not always happen lol)

1. Nobody But Me – A verbal prayer to God. Reflecting on all the rough times now, and the days ahead. This song takes an introspective look at the mentality of the youth involved in the current recession. Paranoid, starving, and wanting to succeed, in the midst of trying to do right. All of this is conveyed in a smooth flow over a somber feeling instrumental, yet the strings from the guitar sound picks it up a bit in between.

2. Q&A – This song touches on a bunch of answers all centered around one question, “Why does Justis rap?”. He answers with a multitude of answers: passion, wack rappers, copy cats, and a lack of good minority ones (that one came from our discussion). Effortless-seeming flow over another somber beat by Marcus D to fit the mood of pulling out something deep. The beat definitely gives off a feeling of wanting to put in work. Real blues’y tune.

3. Take a Look – To me this is where the album picks up into bounce mode. One of my favorite tracks on this album. The beat almost has a nice downsouth feel, and a deep up-tempo feel due to the guitar wailing in the background. Definite chill mode, and something to ride to. At this point, I’m coming to expect lyrics to stay on point by Justis.

4. Return to Sender – Again, production picks up. The keyboard takes flight, and the bass is nice (my other favorite track). Very mellow and smooth, on the production, Justis comes in with smooth raps, and proclaims to be cold with the bars doing him, being fluent and fly with his craft and as a person, as every emcee should.

5. Explode – This is the part where things rock. The beat is nice, and the melody is nice too, the only thing i wish i heard was a lil more bass in the part where the verses were, but it starts to kick in a bit near the chorus. This track seemed like Justis wanted to talk about getting things off his chest, as most emcees like to. The only thing I’d say at this point, the message is a little redundant, we know why you do this, as explained on “Q & A”, but this just my personal thing.

6. Mic Controller – This is a nice crew joint. This would be where the crowd jumps up and down. The drums are hard hitting, and the melody is piano heavy. I’m not sure who’s all on this track (no listing) but i believe it to be other local town emcees, Yirim Seck, and Larue. All three emcees do their thing, the only thing is again the bass would’ve been nice to hear in the back of the verses, and it seems to be mixed slightly different than the other songs. Again the bass thing is just my preference.

7. Return to Sender (Remix) – This is a laid back version of the original, I didn’t notice anything different vocally. The beat is more of a slow head nod, or car cruising feel this time around. Nice summer sound.

You may ask, “Well… what does this all mean??”

All in all. Not bad at all. Justis has great flow, cadence and thought. He knows what he wants to say and knows how to say it. Throughout the CD he states he is only 19, I think his work in the years to come if he sticks with it will be beastly. Marcus D’s production is a nice start and fit for Justis, I’m really interested in seeing more work from these two. Though, again my only gripe really is the bass in some areas, and wanting to hear a few more hard or up-tempo (though not necessarily “happy” “friendly”) joints. I know Marcus D is capable of doing this, his production with everything else was indeed well orchestrated…

Its only my opinion when I say Seattle needs a lil more excitement in the music, when it comes to deep or complex emceeing and beat making (it’s too laid back sometimes), though i realize this music is a reflection two young men’s current state in a recession. But all in all, this album is well done, for a freshman album. Support them, I do.

NES

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