For those unawares, Jozeemo
hails from East Durham,
North Carolina. You may have heard
of him as a member of the Hip Hop collective The Justus League, which currently houses artists such as Little Brother, Khrysis and Joe Scudda, among (many) others. Simply
put, if this is your first introduction to this NC emcee, be prepared for one
of the most gulliest gangsta LPs going.
Cry Now L.A.F. Later kicks
off guns-a-blazin’ with a track of the same name. The song showcases Jozeemo’s surprisingly ferocious
rhyming style: “This rap shit, I’m past
it, the bastard of an artist/The beat fucked my mother, so I came out
retarded/The flow is like caine, it was lined up and snorted/The mic was strong
arm, fuck it, I couldn’t afford it/We all in together now, all for the chedda
now/Started out raw, I’m still raw with a better style/”
The gun talk continues predictably on the “2 Gunz Up,” which
has Jozeemo switching up his flow –
something of a rarity these days – to the energetic beat. Unfortunately, things
start to drag a little bit, as “Problems” sounds like a slower version of the intro drag, and “Gangstas” features the number one contender for
most obnoxious sample of all time.
By the time you hit “I’m That Nigga,” it becomes clear that
the subject matter won’t switch up much, if it all. Its guns and drugs from
here on out, with the exception of “Ya Hear Me,” in which Jozeemo decides
to drop some knowledge about the costs of such a lifestyle. There’s a treat in
a Little Brother feature on “Lose It,”
but for the most part the features on this album are simply unbearable, and
don’t bring anything to the table.
The production on Cry
Now L.A.F. Later is, for the most part, pretty solid. “Ya Hear Me” and “Didn’t Wanna Leave” are the standouts, though tracks like “Gangstas” and “Who We Are” are simply irritating.
The production is overall a selling point for the album, though it’s not likely
to turn any heads.
You know why emcees like Raekwon and Scarface get
respect? It’s not because of some glorified idea of being thugs, gangstas, OGs
and the like; no, dudes like that get respect because they can rap about that
street shit in continuously in a refreshing manner. The shit rarely gets old.
Those kinds of emcees convince you that they live what’s in their songs by
virtue of their lyricism and ability to paint a portrait of a life of crime.
While it’s certainly unfair to expect Only Built 4 Cuban Linx every time out, an emcee shouldn’t have to
remind you in almost every single song that he’s a badass by shouting it in
your ear – you should already know it. This is where Cry Now L.A.F. Later falters – Jozeemo
isn’t a capable enough emcee to warrant the over-the-top gangsterisms and
drug talk. And who can blame him? Very few emcees have been able to
continuously cover the same subject matter and still be captivating. That isn’t
to say that Jozeemo is wack; rather,
it’s just an indicator that he would benefit greatly from varying the subject