Music Note: Jovishes

"Scriptures of the King"

Bonafide Records

On the intro to his latest record, Jovishes makes the bold claim that "If you had heard me over a thousand years ago you would have called me Moses. If you had heard me 40, maybe 50 years ago you would have called me Malcolm X, Martin Luther King.." The self-proclaimed prophet says he wants to use rap to "reach the people to teach the people." Despite such lofty ideals, "Scriptures of the King" seems remarkably similar to most other records coming out of the mainstream rap scene.

Given the grandiose introduction, one would expect to hear politically and spiritually charged rhymes akin to Public Enemy or Dead Prez. Instead, Jovishes simply raps the same tired, self-aggrandizing, sexist tripe that is spewed by every DMX and Jay-Z wannabe. After the cryptic and semi-incoherent rant that kicks off the record, the lyrical content of "Scriptures" degenerates into a series of bad rap cliches.

The most redeeming aspect of "Scriptures" is the eclectic mix of beats and samples layered under Jovishes lackluster raps. Producer Tito Smith has helped Jovishes create some unique sounds that stand apart from the recycled beats being peddled by the MTV rap set. Although he has a distinctly southern sound, Jovishes adds some twists such as the militaristic "March 4 Me" or reggae inflected "Sex Gunz". Unfortunately, he lacks the lyrical skill to make this a worthwhile record.

"Scriptures of the King" is not a particularly bad record, but there is very little to separate from the morass of half-baked rap records the industry is churning out in order to cash in.

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