Hailing from the same city as rappers Nelly and Cross Movement Records artist Flame, St. Louis' new promising act Jeremiah "Kry" Jackson is surprisingly far from being an unfamiliar face with the hip-hop underground. He has spent the last 10 years establishing his ground as a rapper and bulilding a following as a talented writer, musician, and poet. Now, the 28 year old St. Louis native can be heard on soundclick.com as well as many college radio stations throughout Missouri. In 2005, he has finally stepped out into the open to release his much anticipated debut My Hope through the independent record label Cross Breed Imprints.
Because it's primarily only found on a DVD format, you'd think for an artist to include special features on his album, especially at the beginning of it, to be rather awkward. Surprisingly, after a two-minute intro, the album begins with a trio of outstanding tracks from two up and coming artists, Antha "Rednote" Rogers ("Sindrome") and Jonathan "Fish.amen" Smith ("I Praise You" and "Testimony"), who are also on Cross Breed Imprints. After an official introduction to the main event, My Hope finally gets into full swing with the beat-bouncer "This' Personal," which features Kry mixing up the method of his flow, kicking it into fast mode before temporarily slowing down the motion, and then picking up the pace again. Kry combines plenty of urban rhythms and beats with spiritual lyrics, such as the personal experience shared about the city streets in "Streets Cry Too," and the improper presentation of the female persona as expressed in "No LITC" (which means 'No love in the club'). The smooth, melodic ballad of "Listen" basically stresses the fact that Christ can change anyone, even individuals who are in the worst state of mind.
Jeremiah's straight poetry abilities set to music also keep the album diverse and unique. From the negative aspects of manhood as mentioned in "The Darkside of Being a Man" to the arena-esque vibe of the free speech "Strong Holds," Kry exposes the real problems in today's society while offering the message that Christ remains real in the lives of those who love Him shamelessly. The strongest moment of My Hope is the upbeat "We Gon' LIVE," which features the collaborative talents of Kry and his labelmates Rednote and fish.amen. The aforementioned track is also included as the album closer, but is slightly different as it is 'chopped and screwed' (meaning that the entire song is slightly slowed down), but seems almost unnecessary in regards to the outcome of the rest of the project. A couple of songs musically sound reminiscent of Twista ("Spread The Love" and "My Hope"), however, the beats and musical arrangement sound very polished and original in style. Another unique notation is that Kry experiments with his vocal verbosity and voice tone by choosing not to sound the same in every song of his on the record.
With bumpin beats and lyrics that could easily put artists like Lil John, Nas, and Method Man to shame, Kry pulls no punches and does not hold back when spreading truth throughout the majority of My Hope. Words are hardly enough to describe the pure and genuine presentation this young rapper has brought forth with his debut. If "Kry" Jackson sounds like an artist that would appeal to your musical tastes in hip-hop, then I highly recommend purchasing a copy of My Hope at his official website JeremiahSite.com. It will be only a matter of time til we witness other talent that Cross Breed Imprints has to offer.- Review date: 8/26/05, written by Paul Portell
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