$ick of Bein' Rich

Artist: J-ZoneTitle: $ick of Bein' RichRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Dev 1

Once again, the clever producer/emcee of Old Maid Entertainment fame, J-Zone, has struck the airwaves with his no frontin’ or stuntin’, obnoxious (in a good way), Hip-Hop skills. The 90's underground veteran's latest and fourth release, $ick of Bein’ Rich, upholds the crazy street credibility that we are used to. J-Zone graces, if you will, the listener with super-enriched ghetto anthems such as his suped up, around the way enticed "The Commandment$" and "Fuck You, Pay Me".

We have been waiting this project since his 1999 release, which first caught my ears, Music for Tu Madre. Although, Mr. Zone (aka Captain Backslap) has been in the game for a decade; we are just beginning to see what this cat has to offer.

J-Zone has paid much dues in this industry we call the music. Many props are due because although his primary love has been production, he is able to concoct lyrics which approach any hater that has anything hateristic to say about anybody. On "5-Star Hooptie" he adamantly, comically and confidently rides on the materialistic females who would have something to say about his less than big pimpin’ type whip: "Fuck it I won't lie/ my ride is a joke/ no pipes/ no system/ no rims/ no spokes/ a cassette got stuck up in the deck last week/ so I keep a boom box up in the passenger seat." More one-liners like, "I'm glad it rains cuz it washes away the bird shit stains," show he has the knack for portraying the ordinary in a creative way. His art is an imitation of life.

J cleverly exhibits the confidence, swagger or even obnoxious style that Hip-Hop demands. At first, I wanted badly to hate on this album. Do not get me wrong the album is far from perfect. The production could have been much better. But after a second listen, I can say that I once again have faith that Hip-Hop is growing and that this emcee, J-Zone, is underrated; better yet, slept on. He has collabos with Al-Shid, Masta Ace, and J-Ro (The Liks) who are all emcees with whom we are acquainted. This album is a bonified underground classic. Unfortunately, because of today's one track mind of hiphop, commercial headz' radars will not detect the genius of $ick of Bein’ Rich.