Artist: JinTitle: The Rest is HistoryRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Robert DeGracia
There are few tougher tasks in Hip-hop than selling your written raps to an audience that has grown accustomed to your success in the freestyle forefront. The Rest is History, is an attempt to pickup where Miami-native and freestyle champ Jin left off on BETs 106 and Park, but actually proves to be a harder sell than expected.
The Rest of History is atypical of the usual Ruff Ryders appeal. Instead its a truckload of childhood personal block stories without the hardcore. Jins truth is honorable, but the intrigue lacks, big-time. The albums theme relies way too heavily on sleepy innocent-boy storytelling, leaving very little, or next to no variation of a concrete and definitive sound on the album. The lack of introducing a Hip-hop twist on The Rest of History is a fabulous method of steering Hip-hops bored populace to a state of buried unconsciousness.
There is hardly any doubt of the raw talent and skill-set that Jin possesses, as his tight verbs accompanied by quick wit nicely ride on top of the Kanye West produced I Got a Love. Jin spits, Looking for a pair of Air-Ones and white tees, she wants champagne, I got Cisco and Kool Aid, why go to the movies, lets watch the bootleg. Thank You, is a noteworthy outro that shows love to everyone from family and friends to video hosts and DJ crews.
However, the production on the album sounds rushed, poorly pieced together, and at times, incomplete. Soft hitting tracks like Karaoke Night, sounds like somebody spilled water over a sputtering Akai beat machine. The Rest is History is overly saturated with tracks like Same Cry, Love Story and Cold Outside, all Lil Mo tear-jerkers, leaving the 106 and Park 18-year olds in high heels with a field day. Learn Chinese, is catchy, as it uses the Das EFX classic riff, but is overshadowed in content, as it does very little to dispel the slurs and Asian stereotypes that are associated with Chinese culture.
Perhaps The Rest is History isnt the exact testimony that we expected from Jin, primarily because it hardly leaps off of the deep end. The result is a feet first, conservative effort that leaves the album without any calculated risks that may have been worth taking. After all, the mainstream hasnt heard from an Asian-American rapper, why not go for the gusto? Jins aggressive approach in the freestyle game resulted in the most fear-struck opponents since B-Rabbit. But at least for now, Jin hasnt made history with this one just yet.