If listening and reviewing rap music has taught us anything (aside from how to depict and inaccurately judge a person’s character based on their record collection), it’s that you’d be shocked, better yet stunned to find anyone who would take time and help produce beats for De La Soul, G-Unit, and the rap career of WWE wrestler John Cena.Someone did and that was Jake One; giving his best output and intake on each individual and making it beyond just business but yet personal. Jake One, in a timely fashion produced beats for all of them, and the further you go into his résumé, the more amazed you’ll find yourself in awe because it only gets better: last year alone he contributed beats to Young Buck’s thugged-out Buck the World, Lifesavas’ conscious-rap concept album Gutter fly and Turf Talk’s hyphy hit West Coast Vaccine (The Cure).
But can a producer who’s that versatile and down right different from the artist’s listed manage to come up with an album’s worth of beats that is down to earth and enjoyable to understand the essence of his work.
Originating from my home town, Seattle Wash. Jake One releases White Van Music. White Van Music is a mixture of urban rap with almost a southern screw tempo. Jake’s album is a unit of cohesion. He features artists such as Busta Rhymes and Common on the album to portray urban life struggles. Jake produced each beat, but is never featured on any track. He obviously is a laid back individual because there is no hard core rap featured but rather real life problems and situations that people can relate to.
His work though speaks for itself he uses a wide range of diversity in the beats of each track making the mood a new experience each round foreboding gospel soul, hip-hop with slow-rolling electric-piano chords. The flaw with White Van Music is that the lineup of lyricists just about guarantees that most people will run across at least one track featuring an MC they can’t stand. I think he should have stuck with a few artists and went from there but to each his own.
I don’t promote or like rap but I commend Jake One for what he has done because the bigger picture aside from his beats is that if he can get all these MC’s to come together as one under the same roof to produce the legend of true White Van Music. He has conquered what most haven’t and that is unity among equals!