• Eddie D

J. Arrr - Tessera

The North Carolina emcee shows off his lyrical prowess on a strong, concise EP.

J. Arrr x Clypto Beatz - Tessera

J. Arrr is an emcees emcee. His featured verse on K!NG jvmes and Kil's The First 48 EP, left a strong impression on me. I'm a fan of one emcee and one producer projects so J. Arrr & Clypto Beatz new EP, Tessera checks a lot of boxes for me. Clypto Beatz production makes for a consistent sonic experience, and one that meshes well with J. Arrr as an emcee. At 6 songs the project is a perfect length, with some well placed features to keep things interesting.

Unfinished Mosaics sets of Tessera with a bang. No need for a traditional album intro, both J. Arrr and Clypto waste no time showing they're serious about their craft. Triumphant horns kick things off as J. Arrr drops quotable bars right off the bat.

I guess this my return to the map. I lost the Apple of my eye so it’s Return of the Mack (Mac). I’m back feeling like Mark Morrison, flourishin’. Flows tight as the thought that it was recorded in...

The periodical beat changes by Clypto Beatz add a very dope, soulful touch throughout the song. J. Arrr uses this track as an introduction to the EP but also a re-introduction of himself as well. He closes the opening track as strong lyrically as he started it.

It's my dragon spit behind a glitch. I found my groove, chill don't bump the table it makes the vinyl skip.

On the next track Abaculus J. Arrr links up with his Weather Report partner in rhyme K!NG jvmes. The production by Clypto Beatz is both soulful and jazzy giving the emcees a lot to play with. K!NG jvmes sets it off and absolutely floats over the beat, dropping a bar heavy verse putting other emcees on notice while plotting to take over the game by brute force.

I spent years trying to get one of these labels to sign me, now I'm kicking down the door like I couldn't find the keys. My brother J. Arrr he taught me that the only way to compete is to never ever let the comp eat.

J. Arrr tags in and the bar work continues. This is one of them cuts where you will continue to catch references and wordplay on multiple listens, on one of those albums that rewards heads who pay attention to lyrics. But its not just the wordplay, the flows and rhyme schemes are just as impressive.

Normally I'm cool, calm collected all these jewels for my new job, I rest but I don't sleep on the couch 'less it's a futon. I'm too Don, Gotti and Capone off my wit alone I fool Toms, cold but the flow hotter than Sudan or Sudan shout out to the true fam they know with these loops I'm like Tucan

The more mellow horns on The Madaba shift the vibe a bit, giving the listener a bit of a breather, but J. Arrr doesn't take any bars off on this project.

Top the score with simple mathematics, to y'all it's common core, a commodore you n***** ain't built solid, the ship shoddy, Double A Pack (A .Paak) in your back that's Silk Sonic.

Phil V follows with another dope feature verse and it's clear that J. Arrr only deployed emcees who were up for the task. That was never more clear than on the posse cut Emblema featuring K!NG jvmes, Q Ham and IAMGAWD. Clypto Beatz gives J. Arrr and crew a more laid back sound that's also very lush. Melodic strings and guitar riffs anchor this instrumental along with waves crashing in the background. This is an instrumental that I could vibe out to as is, but trust that every emcee gets busy on this one. J. Arrr sets things off, tailoring his cadence to the beat, and staying in pocket.

Nothing but dope on this mic, potency nice, can't resist cause it's opium like. This shit like Kobe and Mike, Lebron too... each a goat in his right.

K!NG jvmes takes the baton from J. Arrr and drops some jewels of his own.

When I pray I never ask forgiveness, I pray for strength to handle n***** who keep tabs with bad intentions. Plotting on mines a bad decision, I strive for peace but n***** will blast for me (blasphemy) like they sacrilegious.

Q Ham follows this up with another dope verse / history lesson, even tying in the crashing waves in his rhyme. I AM GAWD anchors the track and takes it home.

No 9 to 5 is sufficient enough, a n**** like me out here trying to thrive but conditions is rough. Still I don't complain, just mean my grind ain't relentless enough, keep your mouth off my name n**** your rhyming ain't vicious enough.

To follow up this lyrical tour de force, J. Arrr, switches things up. The next track #LLBigB is the most personal and intimate J. Arrr gets on Tessera. This song is dedicated to Big B DMG and the emcee holds nothing back. He shares details on their friendship / brotherhood and the goals they both shared. He also includes some vocal samples of Big B DMG speaking on J. Arrr as well as sharing his mentality. This is truly a beautiful tribute and the Clypto Beatz instrumental really adds to it with a perfect soul sample that mirrors the mood.

The Tessera EP closes out with Foregone. This is a nice way to wrap up this EP and a good contrast to how J. Arrr set it off. Sonically were getting another laid back soul sample from Clypto Beatz with J. Arrr being introspective as well as rightfully optimistic.

I'm in the curtains peeping, pistol tucked just a bit concerned with the big disturbance. Opportunity was like Richard Sherman, trying to knock my door down. I'm blessed cause it's even more now, so much good's on the way we gonna need a storehouse.

Tessera is a strong EP and a great introduction to J. Arrr for those who haven't heard his previous work. With that said, he has released a number of other projects in 2021 including a full album Broken Easel and a collaborative EP with K!NG jvmes, Weather Report. The Tessera EP is an easy to digest format, encouraging repeat listens which will reveal more layers to J. Arrr's lyricism. Production wise Clypto Beatz gives the emcee a consistent sound with beats that could easily stand on their own as instrumentals. The features enhance the project as well and if you enjoyed this EP, I encourage you to explore projects from K!NG jvmes, I AM GAWD and the rest.

Check out the album Tessera on Bandcamp. Soon to be released on all streaming platforms.

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