Illustrate, Back On The Juice
» He raps. He's white. He's Jewish. oy-vey?
Jewish rappers range from the most lauded to the laughed at. Lucky for Illustrate he's got Paul Barman's bars without the über-dork flow and a casual nasal flow comparable to Cool Calm Pete - who I realize is not Jewish, but I could not think of an analogous Beastie Boy.
Illustrate got his start with the Zyron Collective, which must have been some super underground, strictly known on Long Island hip hop. He broke off to do the solo thing and began crafting Back On The Juice. Featuring production pulled from Sifunk and Garmunkle's Blooperz beat tape, Illustrate has a strong command of his wordplay, which he utilizes for tales of being the lesser man in altercations. His Larry David-like story on "The Look" is a classic case of wishing the "pen is mightier than the sword" had some relevance in bar fights.
Apologies go out to Illustrate for not listening to and covering his record before the end of June. Had we heard this closer to its release date, it would have definitely been on our celebrated list for the month.
Back On The Juice features guest spots from Fresh Daily (hopefully, no beef with our blog) and Strictly Business. Download the album here.