Artist: J XavierTitle: Young Prince Of Tha SouthRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Melanie J. Cornish
The Hip-Hop nation watched as a rather over-publicized battle ensued over who the real King of the South was. Now as fourteen year old J Xavier steps forth with Young Prince of Tha South (Nooday/Music World) claiming the name of Prince of the South, very few can dispute the youngster’s title. Signed to Mathew Knowles Music World Entertainment, J Xavier has earned nods and support from an assortment of artists and prestigious figures in the South.
Marketed as a kid for kids is something we have seen before and as Hip-Hop continuously breaks boundaries and surpasses expectations as far as its mass appeal, more kid-friendly rappers are embraced for the junior demographic. And as a kid who can actually rap, J Xavier is a welcomed addition. With an air of positivity seeping through the rappers veins and void of any cursing in his rhymes its hard to imagine some of those who stop by to pay homage to the young prince on his debut could bite their tongues to keep in step with J’s ideology.
Assisting the pint size lyricist on his introductory ride into the mainstream world you will find the likes of Mike Jones (“Stroll”), Lil Keke (“Get Crunk”), and the late Hawk. Xavier definitely stands tall and holds his own competently beside these Southern staples. Joined by George Clinton who is apparently a big fan of this Texan teen, the remake of “Flashlight,” gives the album its taste of funk just as the T2 collaboration on “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” gives the album its taste of soul.
The lead off track from the album “I Love My Music,” produced by Skylar Jaymz of the Ne-Yo headed Compound Entertainment, has been happily received by younger generation but even with the “Never Can Say Goodbye” sample it fails to grab the appeal of the grown. On occasions the beats, the majority of which are created by under the radar producers, prove too powerful for his youthful tone, but one has to remember he is after all only 14 and as his voice lowers and his rhymes expand beyond the teenage topics this young MC may just be making moves in the leagues of the big boys.