Progress: A J Hus Story (Big Conspiracy Reviewed)
How do you follow up your highly acclaimed debut album and avoid the infamous sophomore slump? Ask J Hus.
Momodou Jallow aka J Hus, is lauded as one of the most talented and talked about young artists coming out of England. The East London born Gambian gained notoriety with a slew of freestyles that he did, culminating in the release of his highly acclaimed debut album Common Sense. In April 2019, fans who attended Drake’s concert at the 02 were in for a major surprise. Drake brought J Hus out on stage, making his first appearance since his release from prison.
Part of what makes people so intrigued by J Hus is his antics on social media, but that stream-of-consciousness shows that Hus is candid–human and flawed like all of us.
The major part of Hus’ appeal is his sound. He blends a myriad of sounds, coming together under the afroswing genre (see his first album, Common Sense). Other than his unique sound, Hus raps, melodizes and speaks on topics ranging from relationships to conspiracy theories, to life as an African in the Western world.
So let’s get to the music. Big Conspiracy is a major step forward from the blockbuster debut, Common Sense. His sound is more refined, he’s finding himself and that is displayed throughout the project.
Big Conspiracy is a journey, it’s a look into the man that J Hus is becoming and the trials and tribulations that he has faced. He is raw, honest, and authentically true to himself. Hus hones in on a stripped-down sound and is laser-focused. All 14 tracks flow effortlessly, it’s a smooth listen and Hus’ production team, TSB, JAE5, and IO are all in sync–providing Hus with the canvas to paint his world. This album is everything you’d expect from Hus and yet he still impresses. He kept the features to a minimum, working with Ella Mai, Burna Boy, Koffee, and iceè tgm.
J Hus is an amazing storyteller. It doesn’t feel like he’s rapping. It almost feels like you are sitting down and listening to your homie talk about life, the shit that he has been going through and things that are going on in the world. This command that Hus has over his words is one of his unique talents–flowing from one topic to another without appearing scatterbrained. Hus also is very outlandish, making for some hilarious yet thought-provoking quotes: “shaytan in police uniform, Feds in a helicopter, I seen pigs fly but I never seen a unicorn.”
A major take away is that he is still trying to find himself in this confusing world. He has faced many noted issues in the last few years, culminating in the track, “Deeper Than Rap,” which sums everything up:
“They ain’t see me in so long, they like, “Where have you been?” I was fresh from a war but it was internal. Every day I encounter another hurdle. Why they wanna take my manhood and strip-search me? When I think about my life, it’s been a long journey. It was a snowstorm but I stood firmly. All the time you wasted, you gotta reimburse me I had to play dumb, just to blend in. Then go to Africa for spiritual cleansing.”
Big Conspiracy is another step in J Hus’ journey and we are rooting for him.
Stand out tracks: “Cucumber,” “Repeat (feat. Koffee)” “No Denying,” “One and Only (feat. Ella Mai) and “Deeper Than Rap.”