Artist: Jimmy D
Album: Fresh Produce
2. Little Things
3. Rockstar (featuring Drew Behringer)
4. How It Work
6. Roll It Up
Jimmy D, along with his album Fresh Produce, is the first local Michigan artist I have had the opportunity to review since I signed on to UTG. Although I cannot expect a professionally mastered album that was recorded in a $10 million studio, I can expect the intangibles of skill, heart and motivation, from Jimmy D, to appear on this album.
Fresh Produce comes to us in the form of seven tracks—all of which had beats that were produced by Jimmy D. Clearly the strongest asset Jim has is his beat making skills…he really knows his way around a record and truly has some of the dustiest fingers I have ever heard.
Fresh Produce kicks off with the Intro, which rides in with an epic and powerful beat carried by Jimmy D’s “slow flow” spitting style. The beat, accompanied with some nicely layered drums and a fresh sample, allow Jimmy D to spit his confident and cocky rhymes as he proclaims why he is the best and above other rappers. After the Intro, Jim gets right to it with his track Little Things—which happens to be his best track on the record. I liked everything about this song down to the instrumental and the rhymes. Who would have thought that someone would ever sample an Avril Lavigne track for their hit single…kudos Jim.
The middle of the album picks up heavy with the song Rock Star that features Drew Behringer. The beat is on some crazy-head-bobbing-nonsense that I haven’t heard since I reviewed Tech N9ne’s Sickology 101 record. I love it! The hook sways in and just falls short of being “catchy,” however it does the job for the type of track the two Ferris State University students were going for. Behringer brings an Armor All type polished flow that nearly blew me away…honestly this dude is white and I did not expect that caliber of a verse from him! Up next is the track How It Work, which comes with a synthy beat and a Young Gunz style drum pattern that I haven’t heard since 2003. The hook on this track has a Down South influence and clearly is the best hook on the album. After How It Work, comes Standing Straight. I have very mixed feelings about this track. The beat and lyrics are very heart felt, but the emotion in Jimmy D’s voice lacked for the style of track it was supposed to be. It could have been better, but I like it because the lyrics are the most emotional.
To finish up the album, Jimmy D gives us the song Roll It Up…which is obviously his “club” track for the album. I wasn’t too impressed with the chorus of the joint, but I was, again, impressed with the beat. The kick drums hit so sharp that it took all I had in me to stop bobbing my head so I could finish writing my notes about the track. The final drop on the album was the song Train. Train is a song I had to hear a few times before I started to vibe to it. It has an early 90’s flavor to it with its stabbing snare drums and droning sample that was used for it. After the song grew on me however, Train ended up being my favorite joint off the album.
There were a few complaints I had about the album. First, I felt that the delivery and emotion in Jimmy D’s style was almost nonexistent. He sounded shy and lacked courage to spit, but all that can be fixed with experience. Second, I felt that the concepts used for his songs could have been expanded upon better. There were a lot of generic themes you’d hear on most commercial albums and there was really no content on this record that would be considered “outside the box.” Last, I felt that Jimmy D’s flow could have been better. Most of the songs used a choppy flow and sometimes fell off beat when Jim had to force his flow to finish a bar. A handful of the tracks had an elementary one-syllable rhyme scheme and happens to be the culprit on why his flow lacked the ability to ride his beats. Again, like his delivery, it can be fixed with experience and in time. It makes you look forward to his next project that he releases because you’ll be able to pick out his improvements and appreciate his work even more.
All in all, Fresh Produce was an album that brought more to me, as a listener, than I expected it would. The beats were fresh, the passion in the music was there and the motivation you love to hear from an artist was there as well. Make sure you pick up Jimmy D’s record and support Michigan hip-hop!
Written By: Brandon “Venamis” Folsom – www.twitter.com/venamis