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Jesse West No Prisoners Motown • 1989

It’s 1989 and Jesse West is on a warpath (besides T La Rock ;). The NY rapper took the mic, his weapon of freedom, and threw on his favourite t-shirt with the subscription 'Africa Must be Free'. He’s a renegade with a cause, as he explains in the rough track 'Renegade': the LP is hardcore lyrics with an attitude.

The beats are renegade funk; pumpin bass lines with a lot of raw keyboard sounds. Most production is by Gordon ‘The Hype Beat Warden’ Williams but some tracks are produced by Jesse himself, like 'I Saw You', a kind of cheesy song with an electro bass line but the chorus (with a Jackson Five sample) and the rapping ('I’m not American Express so you can go home without me') sounds tight though. The introductive title track is a banger: a threatening keyboard, a dubby bass line and the on-point rhyming of West. 'I’m A Warrior' is a slow, thumping bass drum snappin ya neck. Mad funky is the Kool Chip diss 'The Master', with the same beat as DJ Chuck Chillout & Kool Chip’s 'Masters of the Rhythm'; the drums of Talking Head’s 'Once in a Lifetime' and a sample of Grace Jones’ 'Slave to the Rhythm'. Jesse West is on point:'Kool Chip, or should I say Kool Chump? You soft punk' and 'Before you go playin brave, I am the Master and Kool Chip is my slààààve': old-fashioned dissing, yeah! 'For James' is an instrumental dedication ('Free James Brown!') to the master of funk. Dope!

This album is some good drum programming on a rough tip with dub basses and keyboards, the rhymes are superb, mad hard: Jesse West ain’t clownin!

POSTED ON 08|28|2004 by cpf

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