How well do we really know Beyond Belief? As far as the Rockaway up-and-comer is concerned, the answer is “Not well at all,” and, having listened to his latest single, I’m inclined to agree—the emcee present on U Don’t Know Me is neither the hard-partying college kid who brought us Don’t Touch nor the hyperliterate wordsmith we glimpsed on his exclusive freestyle, but someone entirely new: Bobby J. the tortured, heart-on-sleeve underground artist. The emcee’s mentor, Kwame‘s pensive blend of strings and muted brass sets the stage for a musical therapy session in which BB tackles such painful topics as his grief at his father’s suicide and his distrust of women. The most compelling issue he touches upon, the stress of coming to grips with a parent’s homosexuality, receives only a passing mention—were he to delve deeper into that topic in the future, a truly groundbreaking record could result. In any case, this introspective cut is an intriguing introduction to the artist’s vulnerable side, and will undoubtedly stir up underground interest in the his debut LP, What About BOB? (which has yet to receive a release date).
Written by richard on 06/9/09
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