Artist: Blak JakTitle: Place Your BetsRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Adam Thomas
Blak Jak, a rapper from Decatur GA, drops his debut, Place Your Bets (Universal/Republic), an interesting album that shows a bit of everything from the young rapper. From his tough childhood, to his dealings in the trap, you get an interesting introduction to the young artist as he maneuvers his way through life.
The album starts off with the simple intro, which is basically a roulette wheel spin, that leads you into the first track, “Bobbin’ My Head”, a song that fits its title. The opener gives the album a bit of edge, it serves as a good single as well, as it fits Place Your Bet’s tempo and speed. “Ride & Swerve” is an excellent track, in both production and rapping, even if he is outshined by Project Pat. The album continues with up tempo styled tracks, such as “Ball Out” with T-Pain and Showbiz and a smooth interlude with “Luv U Blak” that is single worthy.
The album soon drops into a bit of a biography, starting with “All I Know”, which diagrams his childhood, growing up poor; “Payless shoes…didn’t raise my hand because my sleeves were shorter.” The next track tells about his mother’s death on Christmas Eve, and his father’s abandonment of him among other things. “Trap All Day” and “G Shit” brings the album back to its original pace, ending with the fun track, “What’s That Smell,” featuring Straw Dawg & Broadway.
What you have here is a rapper that can touch on various subjects with decent lyrics. His youth sometimes shows itself, but that is to be expected on a debut. Blak Jak makes his mark with this album and has improved his odds of sticking around for a sophomore re-up.