“I seen it at first sight and I knew it was gonna be love” – Krondon
It’s just one of those albums. A quick run-down through In Search Of Stoney Jackson‘s background and you’ve got that all too familiar presentiment that the album is going to shine. Krondon on the microphone. Phil The Agony on the microphone. Guest appearances from Talib Kweli, Evidence, Oh No, Roc C, Guilty Simpson, Fashawn, Planet Asia, and Mitchy Slick. Exclusively produced by (the legendary) Madlib. Do yourself a favor and start two-thousand-and-ten, twenty-ten, whatever-you-want-to-call-it on a musical good note. Start strong. Start with Strong Arm Steady. The partnership between Otis Jackson Jr. and the gang is too scintillating to ignore.
Madlib. Let’s talk about him. He’s consistently refreshing. He’s a spice. He’s an enabler. 2007′s Deep Hearted was a formidable debut album for SAS but it was, for the most part, sonically colorless (save the Kweliful “One Step” and “Streetlights”). The production on Stoney Jackson dismisses a conservative west-coast sound for a piquant flavor that still feels so damn . . . California! No one does it better than The Beat Konducta. “Chittlins & Pepsi” perfectly represents a train of thought focused on some good eatin’ (like cunnilingus, and uh, food). The lyrics are honeyed. The beat? Succulent. Madlib’s alone time is found throughout the album, in the key-happy “Telegram” tune – one minute of pure luxurious production. The Beat Konducta is the quintessential piece of this album, as brilliant as these emcees are.
Is it just me, or is Krondon an alliteration guru? A very common literary device used in hip-hop, true, but as it rolls off of his tongue, Krondon seems to make those words stick out so beautifully. Moka milkshakes. Cupcake cholesterol. Salisbury steak. Misses microwave. Blonde barbie-dolls. Strong Arm’s lyrical content on this album is solid, and the featured artists are great additions. Evidence, Roc C, and Oh No all bless the microphone on “True Champs”, while the “MCEO” of Blacksmith Records delivers a nice piece on “Get Started”. There’s a handful of Los Angeles up-and-comers on Stoney Jackson as well (Chace Infinite, Montage One, Phats Bossalini, and others) whose verses range anywhere from mediocre to quite nice. The lineup is stellar and keeps the album fresh from a lyrical standpoint.
Twenty-ten is off to a great start, as In Search Of Stoney Jackson will more than likely match your expectations, or surpass them. Phil, Krondon, Madlib, and a horde of talented featured emcees should not disappoint you. Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen.