Album – Jagz Nation, Vol.2. The Royal Niger Company
Features – Jumar,Dugod,Tesh Carter,Fela Kuti,Chaka Khan, Tupac Shakur
Producers – Jesse Jagz, Shady Bizniz, E Kelly,Jumar, Charlie X,Ibro Pashi
Running Time – 01:04:16
Maybe you noticed the slight trace of confusion on Vol 1.Jagz Nation Thy Nation Come, or maybe you did not, but Jagz has come a long way from the part Rap, part Reggae and Jamaican BOMBACLAD kind of mixture with a refreshingly easy listen of 11 tracks that feature a fair amount of good old feel good music, and it is pure hip-hop all the way.
So what do we know about Jesse Jagz so far? For starters we know that as an MC, if placed against many others in the industry he can chew them up, spit them out and wipe his mouth with one of his Bandannas. We also know there’s the tiny air of enigma around him and his music, which fuels the musical rebellion on this project, as the album plays by no rules and subjects to no compromise which may be intended for public acceptance, thereby making room for mediocrity.
A lot of attention was paid to the production of the entire album, causing all the beats to howl soothingly at you through your headphones, if you used any to listen. (If you are yet to jam this album, you intend to use headphones right?……………right?)
The instrumentals of the songs are so defined that if you mute all the vocals, the beats still speak out in their own lyrics.
As regards lyrics, the general theme of ‘The Royal Niger Company’ Is not a newly applied road of thought. It is somewhat typical, comprising of rapper narcissism (however deserving in this case), thug loving, the come up and success, staying in the game, slight jabs at society and industry…..the whole shebang, and quite a number of movie references.(To fans of ‘Die Hard’…there’s a Yippeekaye on this list waiting for you) Not exactly what one may expect with a title such as the Royal Niger Company, but we’ll permit this simply because it is a hip-hop album, not a socio-historic lecture.
Jagz Nation Vol.2 is a magnificent show off, a mere statement, that Jesse Jagz is not a student of the game, but the author of the textbooks.
Here’s a track by track preview of all 11 songs on the album.
Track 1 Louis ( Title inspired by the boxer Joe Louis as suggested in his opening line ‘you are now in the ring with Joe Louis’)
The beat beneath the piercing vocals on the hook of this track is so alive that it sounds like it is trying to break free and charge out of your listening device. Somewhere before the end, comes the first movie reference on the album, extracted from the 1976 movie ‘Network’. The scene with the character Howard Beale ranting on TV and losing his mind, urging everyone to get mad and scream out from their windows. (It makes you wonder if Jagz has the same idea for us all) The vocals and banging beat is sustained for a bit and then suddenly goes into familiar territory, a sound that most will recognize.
Track 2 Jargo (Aint Nobody) Feat Tesh Carter
In 5seconds as this track kicks in you may recognize the instrumental inspired by the song ‘Aint Nobody’ by Chaka Khan and the lyrical theme is a hardcore kind of love that only Jargo can express and get away with. However, discovering that Tesh Carter did not actually rap on this may leave you wondering why Jagz did not have her do so, but upon hearing what she did do (which is nothing by the way)…..he may have a point. The actual song ‘Aint Nobody’ comes on eventually and just as you prepare to sing along to the familiar tune…………
…..the 3rd track Oceans and Lakes comes on. It features Sarah Mitaru and Dugod on a decent blend of smooth and groovy, like something you want to sway to. The love theme is expressed in meticulous rhyme structure and the words are chosen wisely without waste. There’s also a point of fine synergy as Jesse and Sarah merge vocals.
Track 4 Sunshine Feat Fela Kuti
This song is what would have happened if they really got into the studio together. The Sampled afro beat groove of Fela blended with Jagz’s rap like a match made in heaven’s booth. Straight up feel good music.
Track 5-The search Feat Jumar and Dugod
A departure from the realms of sound that is common in these parts. The finger snapping melody is very enjoyable, with a unique feel of modern Jazz. And Jumar totally delivered on the hook.
Track 6-Supply and Demand
It is quite fitting that on this song Jagz says his mic is a teleportation device, because incidentally the flow sounds like he took a trip into the 90’s as the beat and the hook sound very retro.
Track-7- High-Life Feat Rexx
Just as the title suggests, the spirit lifting feel of the compilation is brought back with a killer highlife hook. Talks about the perils of life and survival, and a shout-out verse directed at the African woman.
Track 8-Sunrise(Shine On)
It starts off with the scene from Scarface after Tony’s near death experience with the cocaine incident. The track visits the theme of the hustle to the ‘come up’ on verses where Jagz speaks narratively to you, and the flow on this one…….Is unstoppable.
Track 9-The Case feat Show Dem Camp (SDC)
The tempo is slowed down here and It is either Shyne or Biggie Smalls that Jagz sounds like as far as pattern of flow and tone of voice. If you don’t hear this clearly pay close attention to the line ‘’the flow is pedalled like gold medals on all levels…same goes for all devils’’. SDC’s Ghost stomped all over the track with a somewhat contained vendetta, and Tec finished it off with a smart punch in his sign out.
Track 10-The Window feat Jumar
The first sound that hits you is a chicken seemingly bent on expressing itself, but jags didn’t let it finish it’s lyrics as he jumps right into his verse….(such a control freak). The beat is exotic, like core African melody, but not as heart-warming as the other groovy tracks.
Track 11-How we do Feat Tupac
This is the second track featuring an artist who no longer lives on this planet. The voice at the beginning is Pac himself, from a prison interview during his time of incarceration, where he remarks that attention be paid to lyrics and an artist’s message. Hence, Jagz takes time to show off dexterous rhyming ability such that you should kick back and permit to float through your ears.
We hereby rate this album ‘A’ for Anvil………….it is heavy with brilliance. Lobatan!