Jel, “La Resolve”

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Reigning in the drum theatrics, we find Jel in an existential crisis.

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Blake Gillespie | July 25, 2013

Jel Late Pass

Anticon's nearest curator of traditionalist boom bap, Jel is back on the scene with his third solo record Late Pass. On lead single, “La Resolve” KRS-One haunts Jel's production and ain't-shit mantras. Typically a Jel song involves drum pattern awareness manipulated on the MPC, but the eratic stabs are kept at bay. It's as though with the arrival of AraabMuzik's lightning-speed push-button production gone global, Jel skirted the potential for comparisons or Red Bull-sponsored Beat Battle showdowns to focus his music back on the simplistic DPA of the golden era and let his words do the talking.

The emphasis of “La Resolve” is in structure as patchwork refrains from rap originators are woven to Jel's testaments of existential crisis. Heavy on the drone, heavy on the down-trodden anxiety, “La Resolve” can sound defeatist, but listen closely in the beginning to hear Jel whisper the humle brag, “I've got a penny encrusted watch / soon I'll step it up and buy one with dimes on it”.

Jel's Late Pass is out August 20 on Anticon.

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