At long last J Hus has let us get our hands on Common Sense, the full follow-up to the culture shaping ‘The 15th Day Mixtape.’ Post this debut mixtape, the scene has seen an increase in artists of the ‘Afroswing’ genre including Yxng Bane and Kojo Funds.
With the exception the appetiser Playing Sports EP and some great features(*ahem* Samantha) we haven’t had a huge amount of output from J Hus. On that basis, I am really excited to give my first impressions and hear how this project shapes up.
1. Common Sense
AWWWW MANN, a more traditional rap song both on the side of production and delivery. I think I would’ve preferred this as the wrap-up song to the album. The relaxed slick rhyming helps to showcase that he can really do the rapping thing on less energetic beats.
2. Bouff Daddy*
This is more like it, the summer festival vibes are written all over it. The production manages to be both simple but catchy at the same time with loads of space for J Hus.
“3-course meal, I put my money where my mouth is, no two ways about it”
I’m getting the energy aspect of the song but it’s missing the intricacy that he’s good at. I’m guessing this is a lead up to a high energy banger.
4. Leave Me
There we go, that slip up with Clartin is forgotten about already. This flows a lot better, we get storytelling, integration of British slang and the trademark random phrases “gooodododo“.
“I’m a creep and a sicko” – how does he make this sound cool? haha.
5. Closed Doors
The piano and what sounds like a trumpet takes me back to his track with Dave ‘Samantha’. It’s got a feel of a live lounge, man this guy JAE5 can really do any sound.
It’s the first “grown” song of the album with elements of I’m coming, but even better. With the acceptable slip of Clartin the project as been good so far.
6. Did You See
The one thing which really caught my attention with the roll out of this song, which I doubt many noticed was the timing of it.
Conveniently, this was released one day after Kojo Fund – Warning is that a coincidence?(explanation of the beef) I don’t think so. That being said J Hus sits at 13 million views on Did You See compared to 3 million with Warning so I’m pretty sure Kojo is seeing what’s being done on the other side.
7. Like Your Style
Man, J Hus is really just going to keep delivering summer hit after hit on this project. I’m calling it now, all the other UK Afrobeats/Afro-Swing artists need to look this project as the bar.
This song probably has the highest level of crossover potential if he makes some eye-catching visuals.
With many other artists, a switch up of sounds like this would actually throw off the listening experience for me. I think because its J Hus I just expect the unexpected and this is exactly that. Flows on flows on flows. Is it Garage? House? nope, I might just start calling it vibes.
9. Sweet Cheeks*
This is really bouncy like many of the songs on the project you can’t really compare to any of the others. This is easily my favourite track so far, I will come back to this once I finish the review off. No reloads!
10. Fisherman (ft Mo Stack & MIST)
These guys are the forerunners for the new wave of boundary-less sounds in the UK. As much as I like the song it sounds exactly as I expected. It’s nice, but nothing really that special maybe it will grow on me more.
11. Good Time (ft Burna Boy)
Now with this feature, I don’t know but I really expected a proper traditional Afrobeat song(maybe something like this).That’s not what I got, this is a cool happy vibe.
Every time I feel like the project like is slowing down it speeds up again. Spirit has a motivational and uplifting focus which isn’t really prevalent on the other songs. Most definitely a song for those dry down days.
“Even when we never had a penny, yo we always had spirit”
13. Mash Up (ft Mo Stack)
These two really do bring the fun factor when they are on a song together. Mo Stack is the one artist I think Hus has the most chemistry with, and the back to back thing they got going on works really well. Mo Stack took the song, sorry Hus.
Real rap, like with Common Sense intro this is the another song where there is less focus on hooks and more on demonstrating his overlooked ability to really rap. I thought maybe there would be some Kojo indirects but I didn’t catch any.
15. Good Luck Chale (ft Tiggs Da Author)*
Yep, this is directly addressing the stabbing back in 2015. It was only a matter of time, I had a feeling this was coming after the Goodies song it was just set for this. Beef aside this is a real hard hitter there is a lot of confidence and aggression.
“We make the real funds, them man are just some funny ni**as”
16. Who You Are
Retrospective wrap-up, a natural slow down of the album before one of his other big hits Friendly. This is always the best way to close off a project in my eyes, not too much going on, just lyrics.
This much like Did You See and Lean and Bop sits in the catalogue which will be looked back on years to come as key points in his progression.
“I’m an ugly man making sexy money!”
My expectations before listening to this project were very high. I’m a big J Hus fan so I really wanted him to deliver something geared around telling his storytelling skills much like Stormzy did with his exceptional debut.
If you’d never heard of J Hus before this album gives you the best of him. He didn’t just stick in the “Afroswing” box, JAE5 gives us elements of a wide range of sounds.
All in all a very good album, him and JAE5 really do produce Goldust together. I think at the end of the year this will be up there with the best from the UK this year.
Purchase the album here
Top 3 Tracks: Good Luck Chale, Sweet Cheeks and Bouff Daddy
Overall rating: 4/5
Courtney is the founder and sole editor for the inspirEnrich.com platform.