The Jiji Sound
Youngster jiji is an alternative hip-hop and self-proclaimed death trap project created by James Campbell. He has released a variety of projects including last year’s Sui//Rap LP and Barbossa EP which demonstrated the artist’s repertoire in full force, bearing the use of clipping and distorted beats as well as an aggressive delivery akin to the Death Grips brand of hip-hop. Now that Campbell has terminated the project in order to focus on more personal endeavors, he leaves listeners with a brand new record called the “darkjiji EP” which features the signature sound in full and more or less ends with being a supplemental piece for those who’ve previously appreciated the artist.
Jiji to the Core
Fans of the Barbossa EP will probably rejoice as this serves as more or less a companion piece to the artist’s catalog as it unleashes sonic savagery with a lesser focus on sampling. While the EP takes an interesting turn in the end through the project’s “freestyle” (which features more spoken work than actual rapping), the songs remain relatively true to the project and very rarely deviate from it.
Lyrically the record attempts to dive into the topic of self-improvement and in general carries a more introspective approach as Campbell delivers potential clues as to the direction he will take from present (ex: track 3 ‘im with denzel’). Campbell’s delivery nails the emotional punch the songs strive to throw but yet he also delivers what are some of his more softer vocals in the project’s discography, creating clear vocals that, through an in depth listen, mesh well with the mixing on this record.
A Raw Sound
The production on the record is possibly its most interesting aspect as the noisiness and the clipping invade the songs and create this more darker version of the Youngster Jiji persona. The bass is thick and aggressive and the mixing on the EP is fine as the raw edge creates a more punk feel to the whole project and, while jarring at the surface, fits nicely to the sound that is being pushing forward.
The sad part about this record is that the moment things start getting interesting, it’s over. The problem doesn’t lie with the record’s length, but rather the lack of song variety and the overall compromising flow of the EP. While it was a short project and maybe its hastiness helps elevate the record to a “Helplessness Blues” aesthetic, it barely passes the point of bare existence that might be a little too short to spare. Ultimately, the record leaves more to be desired but what’s here is relatively solid for anyone interested in the Death Trap sound or wants to receive something a little extra out of the eccentric emcee.
You can listen to the EP here.
You can check out the band on Facebook here.