Judgment in this oppressed world is the fingers of my mighty hand closed into tight fist. A hand that once could not deflect miseducation. The one where a progressive elementary teacher once said those on welfare, as I, were against Reagan’s plans for good. To the blond haired, blue-eyed middle school students who wanted to b-ball jump as me but still reminded me my outer casing was dirty of brownness. Soon docility is dictated and grades so good a constructed school styled significance is sanctioned. Still, satisfaction in selling out is stripped when incidents are no longer moments but a steady reality.
Grades and coupled code switching put you green in white collars in buildings with glass ceilings as low as you coon limbo. Your wears have fashioned handkerchiefed breast pockets with no pens to vent and matching light trouser pockets with little green. Looking up, instead of around, as hanging knived chandeliers with forensic bulbs illuminate your prescribed flaws and enforce their pilfering policies. Corners to cubicles, heat in streets to greet and meets, cunts of cash is the pornography of your days or that brother’s days. Your bonuses are for toys and your daily pittance are for your family chains. You bling-bling, they chi-ching so who really Bong-Bong?!
But a reeling reality thrust by a viciously verbose music make police searches the fodder to radicalize young squares in the cipher. They score the ballet of ballistics from holsters and passing women to rising institutions that surround us. It punches a hand of judgment with the grace of literature whose dialect we create and delivers a justice where the power the young Black/Brown man learns he always could deliver. And now decipher, open the fist of the Hand of Judgement and realize Jus-P is one of those talents of Art in the struggle, fighting track by track.
Hand of Judgement is matrix music made by men in Zion (or Queens, NYC) who deliberately make decisions on the mic and boards that make the industry Agent Smiths cringe. It is a production that is true Bambaataa Funk talk. It samples the Funk musically—those deeper, Bluesy excursions into the unpredictable wildness of the break, wherever it is found. It also does so lyrically, rhyming in a past’d future, a spirit for the classic grimy, best line written and best way said that listens as the next shit. The next punchline, the next theme, the next lyric scheme tactic. Jus-P is an MC that is never not calm in his range of fury and is aided by one of today’s next great Hip Hop musicians, MC/Producer G.S. Advance.
Jus-P upholds an Almighty title with a technique guided by vocal clarity, militant ideas and clever punchlines. Jus-P rhymes phrase by phrase with a steady monotone of subtle peaks of emphasis. Arranged well, he allows the tracks to punctuate his intentions so with his pacing and clear articulation the toughest tracks never drown out his bars. His intensity is epitomized with “F.T.S.2” as Jus-P reacts to the hells he relates through micro examples of savagery and rappers’ lack of principles. The detail is even more precise and real talk’d on “No Escape” where he bars, “my dreams have yet to be reality/I’m forced to get a job, punch a clock and make a salary/I ain’t complaining/I’m sick of being broke begging/but I want to make a fortune and be a rap legend/and get my name out/I take the fame route/crying songs for freedom/let it sang out…” The attack on the anti-sellout rapper is also efficient with “Show You How” (“Skinny jeans, little T and some wild colors/ game is filled with homos wild under covers/look what I see as a trend/buy the smallest pair, wear them as tight as you can/then you got the nerve to try to pick up the pen…”) and only eclipsed by his trials and creed established on “The Cleansing” (“Now I done been through it all/a veteran of war/shootouts to jail time, even growing up poor/through all that pain I’m still yearning for more/ I feel success radiating form the core… I know you can’t resist that another Black man gotta chance to get rich/writing songs for the peoples that’ll touch the masses/you only want me to rap about raising glasses/in the air, And while the world falls apart we really don’t care…”).
Jus-P is an MC that has a strong battle rap ethic (“Electric Kool Aid”) and a blatant thematic integrity (“Holiday”) that builds his persona. There is no odd sample or genre that stumbles his flow but his tracks with others draw out his best concepts. Solo MCing, “The Ballad of Jesse Ventura” holds the essence of Jus-P’s mission while the collabs feature the rest the best. “Bad Man” is a classic 3 character presentation of devilish institutions as G. S. Advance verses as the pharmaceutical peddling doctor, Eff Yoo is the corrupt cop bullying with his “legal” crew and Jus-P constructs the thieving church as its head preacher robber baron. “Water” is a peak of Jus-P’s real stance as an honorable MC of Hip Hop with Wu-Fam’s Prodigal Sunn of Sunz of Man and Solomon Childs with strong bars. “Corey Haim Vs. Corey Feldman” with G.S. Advance is a classic we’ve circulated and built on this entire decade and finds its home on HOJ. Equating their girl chasing to 80’s pop actor personas, the hardcore comedy is as potent on wax as it is live.
Musically, HOJ is completely unique and evokes the wonderful familiarity of the grimiest mid to late 90’s studio sessions I’ve witnessed. Literally, G.S. Advance leads a Funkadelic-natured score. The genre sampling ranges from psychedelic Rock to old Soul, Blues to sinister movie scores. The interlude tracks deliberately focus on the wildness of the illest Rock guitar basslines that can be mined. And it all borns rebellion in the aura. The drum work throughout is truly varied from the smack snares of “Danger Room Sessions” by SC Productions, G. S. Advance’s thickened-by-high-hat snare drums that drive “The Cleansing,” or his booming bap crunch on “Water.” Musically, the diversity is extreme, so extreme that only the hard breaks and tough MCing unify it… as Bam intended. There are the Soulful wails of “Someway” by SC Productions that lead into a violin chop and wild ticking high hats. Then to the Wisemen’s Kevlaar 7 who lends his Detroit Blues of pensive sirens and a break made of bass drums on “Hazel Eyes of Heaven.” G.S. even provokes a nice Jus-P double time flow on “Holiday” with a Black Uhuru styled digital Roots platter to then give a 80’s Rock bassline and Megatron’d chorus for the digi funk of “Electric Kool Aid” and a wild wah-wah guitar’d chorus on “Greatness.” Throughout, Jus-P easily glides over all of this strange diversity and the aging on the samples is exposed excitingly—production that is an example of the innovative preservation the music needs today.
Jus-P is an MC that has more to say and has merely served his life trials, realness resume and toughest battle bars to introduce us. With G. S. Advance as a partner in crime on the mic and guiding the beat creation, this album is a cipher of militancy in rebellious Art, Hip Hop’s principles and a gutter manifesto yelling for ghetto solutions. It previews G. S. Advance’s upcoming solo LP as it does the Jus-P’s ideas and wisdom with an understanding of how progressive, rugged Hip Hop is created. Hand of Judgement is an LP that pulls plugs out of matrix’d heads, plugs them into speakers and chaotically edutains.