When it comes to JShort’s back catalogue of battles, it’s an anomaly for any of his opponents to go their full three-rounds without addressing the Mancunian emcee’s freestyle ability.
The man’s ability to think on his feet is unquestionable, so up until now it made a lot of sense that freestyling is the first thing that we associate with JShort. His new EP is about to change that, as long as the fans will listen.
The second instalment in JShort’s Sleep When You’re Dead series opens with All Day, a track which begins with a flow reminiscent of Eminem on Evil Deeds before transitioning into a repetitive refrain a lot more like today’s typical trap chorus.
All Day is a solid two-minute warm up that gives way to four tracks of pure savagery. The second track Yours opens with what is perhaps the most incisive line of the EP – “”I’m awkward at family functions, 24 and don’t know how a normal family functions”.
Yours is the CD’s stand-out track along with the song that follows, 30 Hours. Between the two, JShort achieves something that so many mainstream rappers still can’t – he makes smithereens of the wall between rapping about drugs or crime and rapping about real life.
The final two tracks continue the album’s intimacy and the closer, Talkin’ To God features the gem – “I never asked you for nothing so why me? Why have you always gotta try me?” – a sentiment as well-articulated as it is deeply relatable.
In that sense, Sleep When You’re Dead 2 isn’t the kind of record you’ll put on when you’re ready to party – it’s the record you put on when the party is over and you need to have a long, hard think about your life. JShort’s new record is catharsis over chaos – something that we all need to hear, but is all-too-rare in rap music.
Written by Carl Kinsella