Finally, after a “drought” in December and January, a bunch of solid hip hop album’s dropped this second week of February, all deserving of some attention and praise. But one always shines above all as the Hip Hop Album of the Week, and this week’s winner goes to Mighty Jay Mac and his throwback album, Gold Sun. For anybody who holds the golden era of hip hop on a pedestal and throws fists at anyone that says hip hop isn’t dead – this album is for you. Hip hop is very much alive, and through a complete and utter old-school style, Mighty Jay Mac shows the influence of the 80s and 90s on this 21st century project as a driving force for something bigger than hip hop.
Mighty Jay Mac is a very talented rapper/producer/DJ who spits more than hot bars. Positivity is at the core of Mac’s mindset as he follows in the footstep of “The Teacher,” KRS-One and lays down rhymes full of insightful knowledge and words of advice and inspiration rather than playful bars and show-off rhyme schemes. Don’t say that Mighty Jay Mac is a “happy rapper” or a dude spitting about daisies and sunshine, because Mac goes as hard, if not harder than numerous emcees out today, and that’s because in every lyric is a certain heart and passion that embodies the front of what Mac is all about.
As stated, this is a throwback-themed record; for all those golden era-heads, I test you to give this album a listen and tell me you don’t feel Boogie Down shining through, tell me you don’t feel Souls of Mischief shining through, tell me you don’t feel De La Soul shining through… Those are huge comparisons, but as soon as you hear that rhythm bounce, those familiar samples sound off, those hip hop vocal cuts echo behind the drums and you listen intently on how Jay spits, then you will be as comfortable as I am making those comparisons.
“Soul Hip Hop” and “Dillagence” are stand-out tracks, for sure. While a distinctive originality penetrates every track, some familiarity seeps through the cracks, primarily through well-known and widely-used samples and beats themselves (see “Top Billin’ (feat. DJ Aktual)” where he rhymes over the classic Audio Two instrumental). Adding on top of the nostalgic feel of the beat, Jay Mac’s vocals even sound authentically old-school with a far-away touch that is reminiscent of times past.
Whether it is a lesson that must be learned, a narrative of situations described to incite an idea or a simple positive message, Mighty Jay Mac handles the task of delivering positive hip hop over head-nodding instrumentals. A mix of contemporary stylings with the undeniable sound of old school hip hop music, Gold Sun features the mood of an old school record thrown into a time machine and brought to us in the present time to delve into and enjoy to the fullest extent possible. If you love what once was, then it is without question that you need to check this project out. So, my rating…
I recommend this album to any fan of conscious hip hop from the 90s and early 00s and artists like Talib Kweli, Blue Scholars and those with a jazzy, boom-bap style.
1) Roll Call (Intro)
2) Soul Hip Hop
3) On My Own
5) Spread the Love
6) Spittin’ (Interlude)
7) Gold Sun
8) Hip Hop Story
9) Top Billin’ (feat. DJ Aktual)
11) Positive Thinking (It’s Yours!)
12) Presenting Maxwell Fresh (Outro)
Kroman: Perfect Design’s EP
Mic Righteous: Open Mic
DJ Adlib: Tofu & Alter EP