by Alex P80 Parks
Mr. 31, Jamal Gasol delivers yet another project for 2018. Featuring production from the legendary VDon with Eto producing one joint, this 4-track EP (with a bonus track for the physicals) drops on October 31. Fitting for a Halloween release, the soundscapes VDon creates are eerie, sinister, and supernatural but remain vibrant and pulsating.
VDon has a penchant for crafting layered moody beats full of pain and heart all wrapped together. A VDon beat will always rattle the speakers in your whip. A pairing between the slick and booming lyrics of Jamal Gasol and the deep layered beats of VDon was always going to prove successful. Add Eto to half the joints and they become instant bangers.
“It’s a dirty game” feat Eto has Jamal and Eto spitting bars of pushing dope and navigating the streets. VDon lays a beat with a repetitive choral vocal sample. The sounds pull the listeners up to the heavens while the rhymes from Jamal and Eto stay grounded in the harsh realities of Earth. It’s not the typical trite retelling of drugs though, both of these elite emcees craft songs full of creative metaphors, unique references and deliver it all with flows like no other rappers out there.
“Only God Knows” a chanting vocal sample echoes on repeat in the background while drums skitter and tap with ample bass and thump. Jamal rhymes:
When something feel funny, I pay attention to Shit
See who pleading the fifth
Nervous grip in my hip
I make the OG’s wanna relapse
The glock heavy with a kickback
Shit get shattered up like ya screen cracked
Work swirling in the jar, Creamy like Similac.”
“Statistic” feat Eto shows Jamal delivering the confident rhymes while Eto spits the hook. Eto shows off his production skills on this joint and goes baroque with a synth harpsichord sound and sufficient boom to back it.
Jamal stays focused on “Eyes on the prize” VDon lays a murky guitar riff over chopped vocal samples, with wobbly echoes of wind in the distance. A bleak soundscape is perfect for the Diadora Don to break down how to remain fixated on your business
“Fast money kept me in and out the streets
But I ain’t buying weight no more, I’m buying beats.
Y’all don’t wanna eat, ya moves are jive weak.
I stand tall and get it on my own two feet.
Ain’t nuthin sweet, The kids playing wit heat.
My lil bro caught one to the back on Christmas Eve.
Still tryna find out what I should do first: cop another pound or blow money on a verse.”
Bonus track on Physicals: “Take it there” feat Eto brings the street tales again here with Jamal flowing in top form. VDon keeps the ghostly vibe going with synth strings and some digi- effects. The drums bang and thump hard, as expected.
Eto on the hook:
“Started in the streets, we gon end it there,
Them n***as asleep, man I been aware..
Don’t make me kill somebody,..
Ima kill somebody…
Them n***as asleep, man I been aware
Started in the streets, we gon end it there,
Don’t make me kill somebody..
We gon kill somebody.”
Jamal Gasol has been consistently dropping well-executed projects all year. Eto has been killing every verse and guest spot, keeping heads waiting for his next move. Together both of these upstate NY emcees bring the firepower. Jamal Gasol has shown that he can hold his own on multiple projects this year. He certainly doesn’t need VDon or Eto, but it sure adds to the potency of this project.
VDon is constantly blurring the lines of modern HipHop influences with the traditional sample-based sounds that has found a healthy resurgence as part of a renaissance in that particular vein. He’s one of only a handful of producers that is capable of such feats, and does so without alienating fans. He can appeal to the likes of newer heads while maintains a hard sound on his beats, where the older heads can still appreciate it.
This EP is a strong project full of clever and well-thought bars from Jamal Gasol over tight beats. VDon delivers the thunder and Jamal Gasol brings the lightning. It may be A Dirty Game, but Jamal Gasol is staying clean and sharp.
Check out some snippets:
Physicals are available for purchase on October 31st at http://JamalGasol.com, while the digital release comes on Black Friday.