Written by @ArchbishopEddy

Edited by @drakobills

I’m going to remain fully transparent in this review as I feel that it is a crucial aspect to writing, as well as being a crucial aspect to credibility in this scene in general. That being said this review is going to act a bit different, significantly self aware, and I hope to instill a sense of intimacy through the duration of this text. I do this in regards to the rather interesting position this piece of music has found me in, and seek to mirror the personality of this project as a whole both abstractly and literally.

So what am I getting at? Well, through sheer coincidence Jordan’s music has managed to accompany me in quite frustrating times. I’ll digress and start from the beginning. The lovely team over at Blackhouse Records graciously allowed me to obtain a copy of Jordan’s physical CD, and I sought to have that be my first introduction to the music (despite having it liked on soundcloud) to get an empirical feel of the project and gain a sense of physical connection to the sound. I receive Jordan’s album on a Tuesday, gleefully opening it up after work. I unwrap this cellophane wrapped piece of cardboard that has a striking red background with the old english font tracklist as the foreground, a busy and stunning cover art on the front. Seeing as the most reliable way to listen to a CD is my car, I look forward to popping it in the next day on the way to school.

I wake up late to school the very next day. I ensure that the first thing I did getting in the car was put on Jordan’s project. It saved me time actually, rather than connecting to bluetooth. I had tracks wash over me, like the bold “Litlord”, and the captivating “Nemo Interlude”,off the top of my head. The stress of tardiness was rather more my focus rather than the project itself which prompted me to think “ok I’ll give this a proper listen later because these tracks warrant it”. I begin to give the album several listens over as I go to and from work, production bold and boisterous on the solid stock bass system in the car, but yet again my knack for tardiness and being in a constant rush manages to get these tracks to pique my interest but not fully indulge me as my mind is partially elsewhere.

Here I sit now as I write this, not in a rush this time, but adamant to deliver this piece of prose that this project unabashedly deserves. In contrast to the first iterations of my listening sessions I enter my room excited to finally lay and put headphones in and plunge myself into Jordan’s tracks: then my laptop shits the bed (which as of now I’m too stubborn to try booting back up at the risk of it freezing on me again). Such is life, I resort to typing this on my phone. I write the several opening paragraphs on my mobile device, which in all honesty is a brutal inconvenience. It’s rather claustrophobic, and mentally it’s challenging holding a box of distractions in the palm of your hands, all the while lacking the tactile satisfaction of typing on a keyboard.

I’ve thus made the switch to my laptop though, and I’ve had Jordan Isaiah’s 10 track (12 on the CD) project “Thank You / Pay Me” on repeat. Dropped January 5th, “Thank You / Pay Me” is an impassioned, thrilling experience complete with emotionally provocative bars, pristine, relaxing production and a sense of heart wrenching energy that beckons you to never give less than 110%. I allowed the CD to only introduce me into the enticing tracks and bold sentiments Jordan gets across in his works, which was a great feeling to have as physically handling the disc, slipping into the radio, creates this feeling of being a microscopic yet integral part of producing sounds that will ultimately resonate with you almost forever.

The intro track “Litlord” is a powerful, vivacious foreword to the album. The track opens with a spoken conversation, an element common across the project, asking Jordan “Why do you make music?”. The answer Jordan gives propels you into this theme of artistic “do or die” that sprawls across all the tracks, giving credence to Jordan as a musician/artist as whole. The depth of this leitmotif isn’t without entertainment, don’t waver, because bangers exist across TYPM and” LitLord” is one of them, displaying prominent production, quick flows, and loud, passionate outcrys possessing the vocal delivery of every bar. Producer Dub-A provides fleeting, dainty keys, clattering and strong 808s with minimalistic drum patterns that Jordan and features ride atop. One of the more outstanding parts of this track is the chanting of “bomboclot” at the very end.

The first highlight off this album is the subsequent track after the intro. “What a Year Can Do” is an emotionally charged song dealing with loss of loved ones, as well as confronting the ideas of isolation due to being hyper focused on music/success. WYCD begins with mesmeric production courtesy again of Dub-A, utilizing layers of short guitar riffs, sustained and space-y organs as well as intricate, popping drum patterns. Jordan fills every verse lamenting the loss of important people in his life, and while every line is personal and cannot simply be conveyed simply, there are lingering lines that pack a powerful punch: “See I don’t know how to make this when you should be helping record it… was my wingman told em both our names was Jordan… I shouldn’t have to make this verse”. The tail end of these verses features Jordan singing a haunting, catchy “I miss you so”.

The second highlight off this album is a cinematic, razor sharp spit track “Nemo Interlude”, featuring both gut punching verses and another use of spoken word as the beat rides out beneath. Producer Over9000 presents the listeners with instrumentals almost overwhelming, with the thrilling sample of “Daydream” by the Wallace Collection (you’ll know it when you hear it). The intro line “She came three times and that was just the cunnilingus” sets a strong precedent for the no bullshit aura that will embody the duration of the track, as Jordan delivers several bars before killing the flow and clamoring “I just rapped my ass off for two mu’fucking hours.. I’mma just talk some shit”. Jordan, in a vocal filter, then goes on to give thanks to supporters, clear up misconceptions, declares he wants to reach audiences as much as he can, and most memorably proclaims he cannot be boxed in: “Tomorrow I might rap about hello kitty and dora the explorer… then what? The next day I’mma rap about some fly shit”.

The third and final highlight off this tape is another personal piece, discussing love at first sight and infatuation, this time though possessing more levity than previous tracks, both sonically and tonally. On “Priscilla” Jordan stretches out his singing voice in a more outstanding fashion as he belts out the chorus in an auto-tuned, bouncy cadence “You never meet somebody like me, there’s no one else like you I could be your knight in shining armor so watchu wanna do? Cuz I don’t have no time to waste…” The layers to Jordan’s vocals are large and lively adding to the ear-worm value of the chorus. In an interesting twist of fate, Jordan ends the track by stating that months go by, and then you realize the object of your infatuation is fake. The most entertaining of this rant is Jordan stating that the “number one rule is never ever ever ever fall for no groupie, so yeah fuck her!”. Jordan rebukes the title of being considered a “hype” rapper, and makes it apparent on the album. It’s an understanding take, as Jordan has the lyrical and vocal prowess to take on emotions, comedy, and scathingly real spoken word off top, but that’s not to say TYPM doesn’t posses hype, upbeat tracks. The most outstanding of the latter being “Jane”, “Hold Up” and the ever so exhilarating bonus track “Friendly Fire”. So, if the appeal of hip hop to you as a listener is to feel rather than listen, than take solace in the fact that “Thank You, Pay Me” wields both. It is worth noting that at a certain point, the tracks of this album seem to blur and run into one another without much definition,and averaging about 3 minutes and some change a piece it can be a lengthy lull, until of course a track really hits you the way these aforementioned highlights did for me. That being said, the lows of this tracks aren’t deep valleys in any way, rather, on a project filled with sky-high summits, the rather dull moments on the tape can still be likened to cascading mountains. The dull is still inviting and engaging, just rather drawn out. I dislike comparisons, as artists work (and you can tell Jordan Isaiah puts in the work) to carve a lane, but there are hints of an old soul in Jordan. This project urges all artists to work, and features heartfelt sentiments that I’m sure all creatives can relate to. Seeds of a rapper’s rapper are in the making for Jordan Isaiah. Thanks for bearing with all the words this time around. Run it up.