Having ruined my share of family photos with grotesquely artificial grins (it isn’t easy to maintain a pleasant expression while being forced to stand absolutely still for 15 damn minutes), I’ve made it my policy to avoid faking cheerfulness whenever possible – even if the results aren’t always pretty. Of course, it’s not difficult to “Smile like you mean it” when you’re flying as high as Booth newcomer (iam) James Wade is on this standout mixtape cut, as Sinima‘s stirring piano-string beat (sampled from UK singer/songwriter Mika’s Any Other World) serves as backdrop for the Stone Mountain native’s poetic braggadocio. Though James kicks things off with the ceremonious lines, “The crowd favorite, they bow down / Crown David…,” he shows a more humble side on the back end, acknowledging that the real reason he’s grinning is because he’s been blessed with the opportunity to reach people through music. With this fresh, reflective cut as an introduction, JW should live up to the name of his new mixtape and become a very Popular Stranger in the Booth. If you like what you’re hearing, you’re in luck – the street album dropped on Feb 24, and is available now online.
Written by richard on 03/8/10
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