As a fan of collaborative albums, I was ecstatic to hear that Jah Jr. and SwankMadeDis were teaming up exclusively for Jah’s album JunyaMadeDis. I’ve always appreciated the chemistry that develops between artists and producers when they work together on a full length project. This album would be no exception.
The sound palette that SwankMadeDis crafted was perfectly tailored to Jah Jr.’s flow and cadence. Progressive soul, with that Andre 3000/ Big KRIT pitch to his sharp, punchy delivery. It’s clear that the duo spent TIME working on this project together, and the result was a cohesive, intentional and conceptually pleasing album.
Opening with title track, “JunyaMadeDis”, Jah Jr. bears it all and gives listeners a transparent view at the aspects of life that have been effecting him. The trials and tribulations of life, love, and realization that motivated him to the leap and become the standard he holds himself to. I enjoyed the honesty in the song and how he holds himself accountable for his wrongs, all the while using that energy to elevate and start applying pressure with his gift.
Recently, Jah Jr. uprooted from Charleston and made a move to a new city to expand his vision, outreach, and growth in various ways. This transition is a prevalent concept throughout the album, especially in the next two songs “Who Dat Is” and “BIMM” feat J.Danzo. An important milestone as an artist is definitely taking the risk of moving out of state with a seasoned craft and determined passion.
Jah Jr. dips in and out of these celestial SwankMadeDis productions, making it clear that the vision is different, the mission is still active, and he’s shooting with precision. He embodies this in “BIMM”( back in my mode) feat J.Danzo when he says: “Had to get off my d***/i’m on a better path/these folks give up too quick, that’s why they never last/cuz you might catch a hundred L’s before you take a dub(W)/til then just give em hell, avoid the fake, embrace the love”.
The first quarter of the album feels like a reintroduction to the reinvented Jah Jr. until he hits us with the first fun transition with “Scatty” feat Bred Boy Diesel. This ode to the famed Dodge ‘Scat Pack’, comes in as an atmospheric groove full of feel good vibes from both artists.
“Mario 64” took me back to the days of Wiz Khalifa’s Kush And OJ with the funny, early 2000’s, call-in radio station intro, slidding in to this extremely groovy, Mario sampled ballad. Giving us his dreams, aspirations, and ‘top of the mountain’ visions with his beloved muse; in parallel to some of our most nostalgic memories of the great days of gaming like Mario 64 and 007 Golden Eye on Nintendo 64. #GxldApproved genius!
“Told her I’m flyer than ‘Star Fox’/she talkin bout boy stop/ I’m feeling like King Root in the coupe with the hard top/ chasing that money like Mario when the stars out/ hit the strip club then we double back/ throwing money she make it shake like a ‘rumble pack’/now how could you fumble that?”
Floating back into the smooth, delicate, soundscape of the album, “OhSoCool” feat BluFlame James and is an overdose of Mack-like cool. From the production, to the harmonious flow between the styles of Jah Jr. and BluFlame, this ‘slow-mo cruise’ is one of those lo-fi classics we need at every lighter flick. Catchy, cool, and slick as oil. A repeat worthy play for certain.
Gently grazing the realm of R&B and poetry is the grind of “Kiawah” featuring some soul vocals and melodies from R&B artist, Bert. Named after Kiawah Island, SC-this track brings in some bright, romantic, vibes for the ladies, presenting even more versatility in the album. Sultry, slow, and still giving us potent lyricism with imagery.
The last quarter of the album dives back into Jah Jr.’s resurgence as an artist and what he’s standing on as a man with his ‘b.i.m.m’ energy. “Big” feat Three and “Foreverlastin'” touch on the commitment to dreaming big, living big, through creating a strong, yet humble legacy, that will stand the tests of time. Important frameworks for anyone that gives their soul through any art form.
Closing the album is “No Help” which I felt was the most honest and forthcoming track of the album. Humbly giving the praise due to the people that helped rebuild his drive and mindset with his life and art, when we usually harp on those that aren’t there. Sincerity, positivity, and genuine gratefulness to family, friends, and the divine.
He also added the previously featured bop “Snot Nose” on the album. You can click here to read the review on that track so that I don’t get too redundant.
I loved JunyaMadeDis and the way that it seamlessly blended Jah Jr.’s signature sound with SwankMadeDis’s atmospheric, progressive soul, instrumentation. The production was top-notch, with each beat carefully crafted to highlight Jah Jr.’s strengths as an artist. On top of that, he left it all on the table and really let the people know what’s going on in the life if ‘Junya’. Stream this #GxldAppproved album below and stay tuned for more moves from Jah Jr.