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Monday, February 11, 2013

*Mixtape Review* JeffSoFree - 40 Days 40 Nights (Indianapolis, IN)

At first glance and by the name, I immediately expected “different” from JeffSoFree, an Eastside Indianapolis, IN native. The first impression I got was from the presentation of his product. It was cleanly packaged, titles, shout outs, like an album from the 90s. I love to read credits and it puts me in the mind frame of the artist and the project direction and I was able to with “40 Days 40 Nights”. There was soliloquy on the CD explaining what “40 Days 40 Nights” actually meant to him. I will brief you, the reader, that it’s the story of temptation and victory. This set a foundation on how I was going to listen to the music.

The artist is unique and has a different outlook on life which is displayed through the content and topics of his song choice. I believe there is a lane for different styles in hip hop so it is always refreshing to hear an artist step out of the boundaries and include social commentary in the records. With that said, the intro “40 Days 40 Nights” comes in as a horn heavy production that he lays out the message for the rest of the project. His flow is meant to be blatantly vivid and he describes his exploits of temptation and how he is trying to overcome. The next track “High” has an ok synth production but I felt that the lyrics did not fit the beat and left much to be desired. Moving through the tape the next song that jumps out at you is “That Come Back”. The beat is nice with the standard 808s and “wirey” production. The hook on the song is repeatable and the verses match the hook’s intensity. “I’m on” is the next song that carries it’s weight, with the production having the classic Midwestern ride sound to it. JeffSoFree gives us commentary of a young man in the streets taking care of home yet praying to the Lord that he make it out alive. He provides an in depth look into the mind of someone who is grinding along with it’s positives and negatives. That is what is most prevalent in the music, you expect a preachy JeffSoFree but he provides a gritty tale that shows both sides of the struggle. The CD’s best track comes in at Number 7 with “iBall”. This is his most commercially viable offering I felt. It is a little different but the hook saying “I” “Ball” is very catchy and is the song he should probably run with for the masses. He displays a quick Twista flow on this song and keeps up with the bouncy production. As with all of his tracks the engineering is pretty good and the song stands out. Charlie Sheen Winning! Song #11 with Joka Slaughta Boy and D Ross is a very good offering. “I Miss You” is an ode and R.I.P. to the fallen and all parties hold their own. The Intro Poem to Gotta Be More Intro-Valley Pierce of The W.i.S.E. Guys was SUPERB! Very well executed and was a great change up in the flow of the project. Lastly, “You Are With Me” is a well put together track. The vocals provided by Montae Clark are very clean and shine through the song.

Songs that I thought that could have been better were most of the feature songs. The feature with Lee’a Ro “I’ma Star” sounds forced and unrehearsed. A feature from Playbwoi the Great on “I Want You” sounds the same. The hook is predictable and classic Playbwoi but the song is mediocre at best. The content on songs like “iHate Church” (which I had to side eye at first) was good and the message was relayed but the song did not have the impact that it should have. JeffSoFree does a good job of giving both sides of the coin, righteous and temptation but toes the line on a lot of the songs. A lot of the songs sound like a contradiction to what you at first thought the direction of the project were going. Maybe it was on purpose maybe not. But you never get a clear picture of which side won the war.

Overall, the project is moderate but cohesive and I give him kudos for stepping out and bringing a different side to the message. I understand the message but I am just not sure that the masses will be able to decipher his struggle. This is all in part of getting the point and message out. The lyrics are not mind traveling but are solid enough to hold the project for the duration. I believe that his music does have a place for a certain demographic, but it is one that he will have to seek and find.

JeffSoFree “40 Days 40 Nights” gets 2.8 Stars out of 5 Bands


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