“Have you ever heard of Jesse West?” If you are a true Hip Hop disciple your answer should be “Hell yeah!” But chances are, maybe you didn’t. How would you describe him to someone who has never heard his music? To hear him describe himself “I’m so f%&kin Hip Hop!” May sound a bit absurd at first, until you hear a song he loves to perform live with the same title. Jesse West aka 3rd Eye’s career as an Emcee spans 22 years thus far, but don’t call him old school. He says, “I’m at the top of my craft right now. I’ve mastered what I do and this is some of the most powerful and significant music I have ever recorded.” That says a lot considering the roster of artists he has worked with in the past. That roster includes The Rza, KRS One, Notorious B.I.G., Xzibit. His discography is serious. Blood from a Stone is his latest studio recording. It’s a six song EP that is thought provoking, inspirational and entertaining. The first track “2012: Too late to put the fire out, sets the mood for what is to come. Hypnotic strings with a driving beat sprinkled with a haunting piano bouncing in and out, and an infectious hook. Jesse West’s vocals ride the rhythm like a marriage. Then follows “I’m so f%$kin Hip Hop” Here Jesse West breaks down some of the essentials and credentials necessary to embody Hip Hop. The beat is tight, and be careful, by the end of the song you may be shouting “I’m so f&$kin Hip Hop!” The next song is “Epiphany” This may be the biggest song on the EP. The church choir chant sticks in your head and refuses to leave. The guitar parts rock. The hook makes sense. Jesse West’s lyrics and flow is flawless. Fire. Then you have “Blood from a stone” Ok now were talking raw Hip Hop. The beat is hard! Again, West’s lyrics and flow never let you tune them out. “Blink” This song is different. The musicianship, along with the overall quality of production speaks for itself. The same applies to the entire EP. “If U C Tomorrow” Here is one more great song. The soulful vocals of guest Karl Rifkin set the tone perfectly and the guitar parts added a great feel to it. This is one of the best Hip Hop CDs I’ve heard in years. It’s new, refreshing, extremely well produced and definitely on rotation in my IPod. Don’t just take my word for it. Cop it. Guaranteed satisfaction.
Asst. Editor XXL Magazine