jin is back

07/17/2010 § 1 Comment

[‘angels’ by jin 7/10]

jin, first broke in 2001 winning 7 consecutive freestyle fridays on 106 & park, w highly clever punchlines and funny analysis of opponents.  first API that i know of to sign w major hip hop label – dmx’ ruff ryders crew.

despite the auspicious start, jin has yet to fulfill his promise, showing difficulty in translating freestyle genius to a coherent, substantive record and struggling in his negotiation of API identity / authenticity within rap industry* (though i guess thats rare in general in the rap game).  kanye was on his first album but according to wiki never got released as a single bc they didnt want to ‘over-expose’ west.

not to say that he hasnt already made some notable contributions to the literature like “top 5 dead or alive” [above].   but im heartened by the new video since he’s been rapping in hong kong for the last few years and i thought he had given up in the US market.  the joint is a self reflective, humble acknowledgment of his former limitations and exhibition of some new maturity w a righteous ‘new-beginnings’ presentation.

today, you have some vicious API hip hoppers – blue scholars, bambu, broken halos.  but back in the day, besides the low fi API philly pioneers mountain brothers, jin was the lowly 1 in the field.  he’s never been my favorite rapper – i trend more backpacker in content – but ive been rooting for him and it feels like hes ready to start rooting for himself again.

*homie colin has done some good work over the years on API positionality in hip hop that i dont address but want to acknowledge from my political commitments

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