Rockett 88 – The Hype Magazine
When it comes to blending genres in music, the results may vary. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. If I had to pick the two genres that have the least to do with each other, I would probably say rock and rap. While there have been some great collaborations from artists from those opposing styles (“Walk this way” by Aerosmith and Run-DMC being a prime example), there are not a whole lot of examples of an artist blending the two sounds successfully. YOUNG JIMMY’s debut studio album, “Rockett 88,” is a bright example of how it can be done in a way that is both seamless and original.
YOUNG JIMMY hails from the Bronx in New York City; a city that is no stranger to hip/hop success stories. With his debut studio album (which was released on his own record label HOOD ROCK RECORDS), he reclaims what has largely became a white-dominated genre. I say reclaim as rock music was originated by African Americans.
“When I was a kid, I thought rock music was white people’s music and culture until a teacher told me it was originally black American music and culture. I was in shock.”- YOUNG JIMMY.
He is completely right and his blend of these two styles of black originated musical styles really feels like magic. It is as if these two musical worlds were always meant to find each other.
YOUNG JIMMY’s vocals in “Beast Mode” are very reminiscent of another successful black artist who, coincidentally, is also names Jimmy. I am referring to Jimmy Hendrix, of course. The guitar work on this song is electric and melds perfectly with the hip/hop beat. Aside from being a talented musician, he also displays a knack for wordplay and lyricism. “April’s Fool” is arguably the best example of this. I am a sucker for a song that tells a story and this one does for sure. The riff work on “Crystal Stairs” is slick and nasty. The song has a psychedelic flavor and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. “The Pains of Loving You” sounds like it was taken straight out of a 70’s hard rock album (think Aerosmith or Alice Cooper). His guitar work on this track is spellbinding and inspired as well. The album also has it’s lighthearted, comical moments with “Sweet Maria” being the best example of that. There is also a solid cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” that adds a nice touch to the album as a whole. “Summer Days” is without a doubt my favorite song on the album. Its moody feeling, raw vocals and lonely melody make for an intoxicating combination. There aren’t a whole lot of slow moments on the album, but this one is done so well that the album doesn’t need another one.
YOUNG JIMMY’s debut is both strong and creative. The music market is saturated with both rock and rap. What it doesn’t have enough of, however, is artfully executed, genre mixing artists who are willing to take chances. He took a chance with this album and I think that it is a chance that will pay off for him. This album is a really fun listen and deserves recognition from both rock and rap fans alike. I am sure that YOUNG JIMMY will continue to perfect this specific style of music with each release. I am excited to go along for the ride.