Saturday, November 18, 2017

Indie Music: Jay Hunna "Better Days"

by Germar Derron


Better Days is definitely not a mixtape, EP, or hodgepodge collection of tracks--this is a legit LP.

"Fuck the System" sports a new school sound, paired with an old-school message. Contrary to common criticisms of Jay Hunna's contemporaries, he actually has something to say. As he relays on "Good Ol' Music," he's nothing like these "mumble rappers." Plus, he pulls off the best of both worlds as well as the best artists. No, that's not an R. Kelly/Jay Z reference. It's about keeping it "real."

"Keeping it real" means two things to every artist: 1) be yourself, and 2) use your talent to make a difference. It's far more difficult to do than any novice knows. Throughout Better Days, Hunna dranks, gets high, and has high hopes for the African-American community. He talks about "nothing," while talking about the G.O.A.T.s and how they spoke on everything. 

"Bad Guy" feels good, like a feel-good Kanye track (unironically, another "bad guy"). And if you ever smoked anything, at night in an SUV with tinted windows--"Another Level" is the song you played. 

For the production junkies, there are multiple tracks to dissect. "No Hook" features the best jazzy percussive noted sampled loop sound of the last few years (and some of the albums' best lyrics too). The cute key riffs keep hammering on "Everything" and "Night Shift." Then, there are woodwind melodies leading . . . "Amazing."

Not only does the album include something for everyone; most tracks are for everyone. You can slow dance in the club, drink casually with friends, get deep and thoughtful or even revolutionary all within half an hour. And he's storytelling like J. Cole too.

I could review every track, but I won't. If I have one complaint . . . I watched music videos for "Good Ol' Music" and "Fuck the System." So, the team must want to lead with those songs (the singles?). But they are not the strongest tracks here. Scroll up. Now read all of the other titles referenced. There are your singles. That's my two cents for free.

And where is he from? I just checked. Chicago. But you already knew. 

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