“The Ugliest” is back with a new album that embodies his upbeat attitude and charm. With sunny summer instrumentals and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, B.A.B.Y is more beautiful than brutal.
Through building a, so far, flawless discography and a catalog of classic songs, the London-born rapper J Hus is touching icon status within UK rap culture, that is if he hasn’t achieved it already.
Hus’s last album, Big Conspiracy, saw his biggest leap in musical creativity, incorporating funky jazz-inspired instrumentals and more emotional lyrics.
B.A.B.Y follows in Big Conspiracy’s footsteps however this time zoning in on Hus’ African heritage and incorporates a more spacey, tropical sound with a few sidenotes of the drill.
Just as the title and the cover art suggest, Hus presents two sides of himself on the album that ultimately blend into one. On one hand, Hus is an African still rooted in the land his family is originally from, on the other he is a Londoner who’s endured the brutality of the city’s dangerous street life.
This split can be seen in songs like “Militerian” and “Cream”.
“Militerian” featuring Naira Marley, is relaxed, and carefree and expresses J Hus’ heritage. He continuously uses African slang throughout the song and holds his flag high stating “I tell them straight I’m an African”.
“Cream” featuring CB, shows Hus’ much darker personality, the “brutal” side if you will. The instrumental is obviously drill-inspired and Hus, alongside CB, root themselves in violent lyrics and embody darkly flawed personas.
This intriguing combination of J Hus’ personality is what makes the album so great and so re-listenable. As the album continues from start to finish, Hus’ “Beautiful” and “Brutal” personalities slowly merge into one and reach a conclusion of spiritual understanding on “Playing Chess”.
In “Playing Chess”, Hus uses his blunt, direct lyricism to give the audience some advice he has learned from both key aspects of who he is. One of my favourite lines is this one.
“I love my nig***s, treat them like my cousins. Avoid all the bullshit and the nonsense. Take time out just to clear your conscience.”
Whilst most lyrical rappers would say this very same message in a complex, poetic way. J Hus tells the audience plain and simple, to avoid things that don’t help you.
SCORE/Excellent: J Hus is still one of the UK’s best rap artists and is virtually an expert on crafting albums with good messaging and excellent track sequencing. On B.A.B.Y Hus offers his listeners songs for the sun and simultaneously, food for thought, making this an intriguing and unique listen.
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