I may be the only person in the world who first listened to Jim Jones’s Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) while perusing through a copy of The New Yorker. There’s nothing like hearing a run-of-the-mill rapper talk about “kufi-smacking” while you’re reading about the effects of carbon emissions on the ocean. Regardless, the DipSet Capo did gain my attention more than once while smirking at mildly funny political cartoons, and it was only after a more-detailed listen that I realized that this is Jones’s best album to date.
That doesn’t mean that his third album is spectacular; it’s just the best work by a below-average rapper. But on P.O.M.E., the beats are stronger, the lyrics are a bit more tighter, and the singles are a lot more “catchier,” resulting in a coup for the man who influenced Michael Strahan to imitate jump shots after quarterback sacks.
The LP revolves around the first two-singles, “Reppin’ Time” and “We Fly High,” the latter of which will have become by the time you read this as played out as Yung Joc’s motorcycle dance.
Meanwhile, one of Jones’s best abilities has been his ability to recite lines that make you hysterical because it’s impossible to tell if they’re pure genius or the worst bars you’ve ever heard. His most glaring examples come on “Reppin’ Time”: “I’m in the coup relaxin’/ You see the roof collapsin’?/ I got my paper up/ although I’m still kufi-smacking” and “We on top of things/ And we got them things/ But we only sell ’em birds/ you tryin’ to cop a wing?” and “I’m back/ It’s Mr. New York City/ My hat to the back/ I stay flyer than a Frisbee.”
Max B provides the hook for most of the songs, and DipSet members Juelz Santana, Hell Rell and Cam’ron show up as well, although “Pin the Tail” (which features “Human-crack in the flesh” and “Killa Cam”), is one of the worst DipSet collabos to date. Lil’ Wayne and Stack Bundles appear on “Weatherman,” but the rest of the highlights come on tracks such as “Bright Lights, Big City” and “I Know.”
Whether he’s eating a bag of Doritos in a Korean grocery or calling himself “One-Eyed Willie,” Jones is an appealing character and a pretty decent businessman. As a rapper, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. And while he may never be the topic of a Peter J. Boyer essay in The New Yorker, it seems that a character like Jones’s, with his ridiculous rhymes and street-grinding beats, will always have a place in the bizarre world that is hip-hop.
Artist: http://www.capostatus.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/jimjones