J-Zone – “Gadget Ho”

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“How come you didn’t text me back?!”
“Because I didn’t know you were still alive.”
“That’s no excuse, you STILL should have texted me back!!”

Out of NYC, J-Zone is an interesting artist. Getting his start back in the ’90s and clearly sharing the same demented humor as the god, Prince Paul, his first LP, ’99’s Music For Tu Madre (featuring his granny on the cover) was conceived as a school project (thesis?) and a strong platform for his humor and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, along with his wild producing skills. The record was critically acclaimed and from there the dude put out several records in the early 2000s, gaining some more critical praise but painfully few sales. Falling out of love with rap, the fickle industry, and lack of respect and commercial appeal, he got out of the game in 2009 and quite jaded by this point, he published a book exploring just how shitty the rap world (and the business world) can be.

But, he couldn’t leave the mic and sampler alone, and returned (…don’t call it a comeback) in 2013 with Peter Pan Syndrome. 

Call it crude, call it mean, call it sexist, call it curmudgeonly, call it whatever you want, but damn, Peter Pan Syndrome (Hip-hop for people who don’t want to grow up?) is the first rap record in a minute which really caught my attention. The record is spastic as all hell as Zone darts all over the map, both in lyrics and sample-heavy production, wildly attacking ideas of race, commercial and indie appeal, his long career of ups and downs, and even dirty houses with irreverence and biting humor. It’s sardonic, wary, unpredictable and outright entertaining. Zone has never taken himself too seriously, and that’s a very good thing…even more so in 2013 (damn, remember when there was a space for rappers to laugh at themselves?). It’s a rather refreshing listen.

And this particular track is a standout, as Zone rails against texting, social media, and technology in general in a way that only he can: Talking about the annoying chicks (and calling out the p-whipped dudes) who live on their phones. Yeah, it’s a problem. And yeah, we’re all guilty of it. But you gotta love those special  people who can’t go a minute without instagramming or facebooking, or tweeting or Tumblr-ing or Pintrest…ing (?) every moment of their insignificant existence. Hell, I can’t stand it either. And the thought of Zone, in a club, cockblocked by Facebook makes this one a hilarious listen. Seriously, hearing this track made me stop for a sec and think about my actions online and in text…but after another retweet and a text from a girl I forgot. Welp.

She did send me a smiley face though!

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