Mixtape Review: Jester Jacobs – Please Download My Mixtape & Purchase My Album [+ stream]
To those that know, the North London emcee known to his friends and family as Jester Jacobs has been putting in work for some years now. My introduction to the wacky world of Joe Represci was with the ‘Blap’ video back in 2008, a rap ode to the joys of terrorising suburbia with water guns… filled with piss. His debut album, ‘Mental Disorder’, showed him to be a well-rounded lyricist, happy to channel his vulnerable side as well as his established sense of humour. The EP that followed, ‘More of the Sane‘, was of a similar ilk, only with a new acoustic sound.
Fast forward to 2014 and Jester’s proved himself to be a man with a few strings to his bow. A regular on the stand-up comedy circuit and a member of rap ‘supergroup’ Moose Funk Squad, he also has a knack for turning unlikely/obscure rap subject matter into viral video comedy gold, like some sort of mirth alchemist. His 8-minute eulogy to Pat Butcher and the brilliant ‘I’m Dog’ (which was featured on the Channel 4 show Rude Tube‘), along with the YouTube views they’ve racked up, are testament to that.
With this in mind, you’d bea bit of a plum if you expected this mixtape to be your typical moody, Mobb Deep-esque UK release. Although there are a couple of customary Wu nods in there, Joe selects beats from a range of genres, demonstrating versatility in his approach.
The feel is mainly tongue-in-cheek throughout, Joe delivering an unconventional flow with an intensity that rarely lets up. His ability is especially apparent on the grime-tempo beats: ‘Ham’, ‘Ho Riddim Dub’, ‘Windows 95’ and DJ Sugai’s seamless segue between the three are evidence of this and one of the highlights.
At times this intensity is too much and it feels like Jester compromises the clarity of his message by cramming too many syllables into a bar, e.g. on ‘Stacey Dooley’. Thankfully though, this is balanced out by calmer, reflective moments like ‘Shoes’, another personal highlight, where Joe confesses “I can count those I trust on one hand”. He holds down most of the mixtape dolo, save a welcome appearance by his fellow Moose Funk Squaddies on ‘Give Me A New Pancreas’ (loving these titles), affirming their status as a crew to keep an eye on.
In brief, then, the mixtape is a highly entertaining listen and well worth the time of any open-minded rap listener. Jester leans towards the comical but has serious rap skills to back it up, as well as a taste for the unexpected when it comes to beats. You can download it or grab a CD for £5 at the link below.