Eric Boston reviewing a hip hop influenced EDM album…what could go wrong?
I am stepping out of my comfort zone with this one.
Jimmy Rock’s new six-track EP ‘World of Drops’ includes elements that were more than intriguing for me. It also made me slightly nervous as I want to do any project that I review justice.
I guess the best thing that I can do is to simply jump in feet first!
Intro To War ft. Egypt Speaks – Basic monologue into by Egypt Speaks that bleeds into track two, the first song of the album.
War – The first song is also the project’s longest, coming in at just over five minutes. The tribal drums work in tandem with the electronica feel of the melody. To be completely transparent, I am not the one who should be critiquing an EDM record. That being said, I appreciated the way that this track builds and adds layers as it progresses. The inserted adlibs and KB inspired (“I Believe”) chant bring a hip hop element that I was able to connect with. Overall, I can see this leading a Jimmy Rock set and getting a crowd ready to cut loose for an evening.
Catch These Hands ft. Pettidee – If you read my review of Brinson’s ‘Throw the Crown’ album (you can do so here if you haven’t), then you know that one feature that is sure to grab my attention is seeing CHH veteran Pettidee listed on a project. Add that to a title such as “Catch These Hands” and certain expectations begin to form before hearing a single bar. I must say, my preconceived ideas of this track were not close to the final product.
I love how Jimmy Rock presented Pettidee’s vocals on the hook as a sample instead of a traditional chorus. We only get a single verse from Pettidee, but it was a good one. His unmistakable gritty vibrato works well with the dance-infused production. Not every rapper can appear at home in this environment, but the duo of Jimmy Rock and Pettidee pull it off well as Pettidee’s energy is in sync with the track’s feel.
Don’t Sleep On Me – Again, another EDM production that I feel less adequate speaking on. I definitely caught some similar vibes as when hearing dance music in the 90s (without the track sounding dated, which is a big plus).
I think it was a good thing that the track came in under two minutes; it serves as a transition of sorts to the following record.
Won’t Stop ft. Steven Malcolm & Fern – As we reach the next to last track on the project, Jimmy Rock enlists the help of two of the biggest names in the CHH space with the likes of Steven Malcolm and Fern of Social Club Misfits.
One thing that jumps out from the start is the more traditional hip hop sound.
Fern and Steven Malcolm both deliver quality verses that have become a staple for these now veteran emcees. I will say, the vocals on both verses sounded a bit different than we are used to hearing, almost like they are not as polished as normal. This is not a bad thing as I still enjoyed the more raw, less produced sound.
Moving between the verses and to finish off the track, Jimmy Rock installs electronic segments that keep the soundscape changing throughout.
You Feel It – The final track hits like a “War” part two of sorts.
The handclaps act as applause for an overall well-crafted project. Jimmy Rock keeps the finale moving with a variety of changes and vocal sampling. While not my particular lane, I can most certainly appreciate the level of musicianship that went into the track”s arrangement. My question is, do “You Feel It”?
The ‘World of Drops’ EP is solid from top to bottom.
Is it one that would be in my personal regular rotation? Probably not. Would it have its place in life’s soundtrack? Without a doubt!
If you’re looking for some high-energy music with a positive message to get you going, then ‘World of Drops’ is a great option.
What do you think? Hit the comments and let us know!