With a little help from some legends, especially Grandmaster Caz and Masta Ace, former wandering street rapper Foul Mouth Jerk settles into some powerful jams on Streetlight Music, his fourth release. It’s as much a homage to old-school rap as it is deadly up to date. A mix of boasts, party tips and
political rants, the album features some of the best attributes of hip-hop: killer beats and angry but honest finger pointing.
Foul Mouth Jerk has gotten some heat for the political sides, but to me those are the best tracks. His anger is well-aimed and he often hits his targets right on. “The Decider” and “Culture of Life” names names and events that have caused us to lose faith in government. Rap gets all the bad press for its focus on rims, grills, and bank accounts, but that’s only half the story. Foul Mouth Jerk shows that rap is still capable of being, as KRS-One said, the black CNN, the reportage of the streets.
Ultimately, though, Streetlight Music is about killer rhythms and beats that hit hard and evoke what the party was like in 1992. Among the better tracks in that vein are collaborations with guests: “NJ Transit” features El Da Sensei; "Day One" features Caz and TOPR, and the truly hot “Lost in
the Sauce” gets help from Breez Evahflowin’.
Foul Mouth Jerk has reverence for his great teachers and for his listeners, enough so that he doesn’t alter his jams or his message for the sake of airplay. Streetlight Music is a record to party to but also to respect.