Jah Jr. is ‘Still Dub’, and Always Will Be
It’s been about a year since Jah Jr. released his most recent full-length album Back 2 Da Dub. Dedicated to his hometown of Dublin, Georgia (the heart of Georgia), the record gives listeners an inside look at where Jah Jr. comes from. Now, on Monday, October 21st, Jah Jr. will release a 6-track EP called Still Dub. As the title suggests, the upcoming EP is also dedicated to his hometown of Dublin.
“Just more of that Dublin shit, man,” Jah says. “I definitely don’t want to oversaturate it, but at the same time I know people were like, ‘What’s next?'”
Still Dub is just 6 of the more than 60 songs that Jah says he recorded this year at the home studio of his friend Martin Grooms.
“It flows well, and they all link together in some form or fashion, as far as my experiences in Dublin or me just havin’ fun talkin’ bout where I’m from,” Jah continues. “That’s just something that I learned from my people. No matter where you from, big or small, don’t be ashamed of that shit.”
It’s important to note, though, that Still Dub isn’t just another batch of songs that could have been on Back 2 Da Dub. This is a separate project, and it showcases what’s been going on with Jah Jr. since the album’s release last year.
“It’s been a year since that dropped, what’s been up since then,” Jah says. “Me talkin’ about my experiences with big shows, havin’ a lot of people at my shows and turnin’ up. Basically becoming the greatest performer here. Can’t nobody perform like how I perform. That’s not even me on no cocky shit or nothin’, there’s proof in it.”
This led our conversation toward Cultura Festival, which happened at The Royal American back in April. Jah Jr.’s performance certainly did have a lot of people there, and of all the performances that night, his stood out as having the most energy.
“That’s when I was out of shape. Now I’ve been workin’ out, I’ve dropped 20 pounds since July. Performances I’ve had in between, I feel the difference. I look, sound, and feel way better on stage. Way more energy, and I already had that. Now it’s through the roof. And that’s not me on no type of arrogant shit, me sayin’ I’m better than nobody. When it comes to performing, that’s what I do, know what I’m sayin’? Ain’t nobody messin’ with me in that regard. I stand on that.”
With this, Jah decided it was time to run me through Still Dub. He pulled it up on his laptop and pressed play. The first song, “HNIC”, kicked in, and when it was through he explained what it means to him. This he did for every track on the EP over the course of our interview.
“Pretty much just, you know, me talkin’ my shit,” Jah says. “It’s not often that I talk shit, or get more on a lyrical side. But I was like, ‘Yeah it’s been a year, I been killed a couple festivals, literally.’ My work has put me in a position where I can talk my shit a little bit, when warranted.”
Next up is “What I Do”, which Jah mentions was the first song that he performed at Cultura.
“‘What It Do’ is just one of them high energy records, that gives you that front porch feel,” Jah explains. “I wouldn’t even consider it Dublin shit, it’s just one them high energy records.”
Much like on Back 2 Da Dub, the new EP Still Dub includes bits and pieces of conversation and phrases spoken by his friends and family. This gives the album not only a few fun moments outside of the musical aspect, but it also ties things more closely to Dublin and where Jah Jr. came from.
Jah explained that he goes to visit Dublin a few times per year, and on a recent visit he brought with him a portable recorder and let it run while he was hanging out with his people.
“Most of the time they didn’t even know I had it, just sitting there recording,” Jah says. “Of course nothin’ incriminating. Just gettin’ the convos, because we talk a lot, we ain’t seen eachother in a while.”
The next track is “Uh-Huh”, which was released as a single earlier this year. Jah explains that this was a song he recorded right after the release of Back 2 Da Dub, but he wasn’t happy with the quality of the original version of the song, and so he updated it with Grooms before releasing it. He goes on to explain that he has a certain standard of quality for the music he releases, and he always wants to make sure that he’s releasing the best possible recording of any given song.
For the next track, which is called “Kool-Aid”, Jah pulled up the lyrics on his iPhone and had me read along with them while the song played. He mentioned that this is his personal favorite song off the project.
“The flow was inspired by this old Southern rap group called Dirty. They had a song called ‘Hit The Floe’. That was one of my favorite songs and I was like, ‘I gotta do that.’ Just to pay homage. Just show my inspiration, who inspires me at the same time.”
“Kool-Aid” is a personality song for Jah Jr. If you want to get to know what he’s all about, that song is a good place to start.
“Just a country dude from Dublin, essentially,” Jah laughs. “I know no other way to describe it, other than you just listening.”
Next up is “Kickin’ Flav”, which Jah describes as “What Still Dub is, more of that Dublin shit, you know.” He explains that this was a beat that Charleston producer Fritz had sent to him, and he liked the beat so much that he recorded it right away.
The final song on Still Dub is “Posted”, which slows it down to a vibe kind of like what Curren$y tapped into with his Pilot Talk trilogy. “Posted” is all about hanging around, with old friends or just your people, reminiscing on old times and and kickin’ it.
“I always try to make the last song feel like I’m taking one last ride through the city before I leave,” Jah explains. He certainly hits that feel with the closing track.
So there you have it: Jah Jr.’s Still Dub. The EP will be released this coming Monday, October 21st, and then Jah Jr. will perform on Night 1 of Extra Chill Fest 2019 at The Royal American on Friday, November 8th. Facebook event here.
“There’s nothing conceptually deep about this EP,” Jah closes. “This is the last little bit of Dublin shit before I start getting into more parts of my life, like adulthood, post graduation, experiences here in Charleston. For the time being, I’d rather give people what’s going on now.”