Jay Kinser Force Of Will

It’s another high quality hip hop project from Jay Kinser, who has constantly moved the needle with each of his three latest albums. ‘Force of Will‘ might be the best yet, and is certainly a very introspective album collating a range of personal narratives and mixing it up with killer bar work over well chosen, perfectly curated and executed beats from a handful of dope producers.

JK makes that quintessential East Coast boom bap music that snaps the neck and gets you vibing, and with ‘Force of Will’ he pushes that even further to create a sound that is really REALLY fresh. There are dope albums dropping almost daily, but this joint manages to really separate itself from the plethora of offerings by being a really engaging and unique listen. It’s not just Jay’s content or the beat choice, but it is also the presence on the mic, the flow and cadence and demolishing those beats in a mature and measured manner that gives it those extra elements – and HUGE replay value.

The intro holds my attention because not only is John Wick one of my favourite movies and characters of all time, but this scene is epic and to use it as an album intro with that key arrangement behind it – brilliant. It leads into ‘My Journey‘ which is an introspective tale of the come up and life in general and the drums come in to really take it over and build this joint into an anthem. Ruste Juxx and V Knuckles are added to the mix for ‘Meet Your Maker‘ which is a more upbeat vibe with some balanced bravado and a heap of bars, set alight with the cuts by DJ Slipwax.

Ups and Downs’ is not just a soundtrack to my life, but it’s another great track from Jay that not only speaks on the real rollercoaster that life is, but done in a unique way, with a catchy hook that ensures after listening you’re on the up and up! The mood switches a little when we get to the posse cut ‘Tremorz III‘ with EXP and Silly Grinn. This track is ALL about bars, and each emcee steps to the mic with the sole purpose of leaving the booth on fire and not getting shown up on the joint! The stankface is real on this one. Jay once again gets raw on ‘Crumbling‘ and the hook is equal parts despair and triumph as we tune in to the Jay Kinser show. There is an extra edginess in his voice which highlights the pain or angst that he’s experienced and is putting out there for the listener to share in.

Ghost of the Machine (Genosha) and Ren Thomas make an appearance on ‘Big Boy Music‘, adding their own confidence and legendary status to the track. Ren and Jay attack the track, but the beat changes slightly to allow Ghost to really deliver his bars poignantly and proudly. This trio has some real chemistry on the mic and this track is a highlight, even after more than a handful of spins! Another BIG time emcee, XL the Beast enters the game on ‘Cursed and Broken‘ and these two hip hop heavy spitters bring more bars Gold’s gym. Tales of torment and triumph delivered with passion and precision, while the hook is captivating and inspiring – it’s a special track.

The penultimate track is the fun and funky ‘End of the Night‘ and Jay brings his ‘perfect mix of fucked up and gifted’ to this joint, which still has some real deep content balanced with the escapism which creates a super relatable track. Finally, we go BIG for ‘Never Understand‘ which is a very robust and full production that could easily hit as a movie score, but instead acts as the perfect send off to an album that is carefully curated, well balanced, honest, authentic and entertaining. Jay’s ability to pen tracks that really hit deeper than just your headphones is a gift, and the production from start to finish supports the pen game exquisitely.

Bangers: Big Boy Music, Cursed and Broken, Tremorz III, My Journey, Never Understand.

Score: 10 / 10. Very rarely do you get an album that you feel so comfortable giving that elusive perfect score, but it sits right with me on this occasion. The balance of subject matter, the killer features that are big time but are also a perfect mix for a solo album, the production quality and variety and the sequencing of the album, make this a home run. You really get to know Jay Kinser on this one, and so many tracks resonate with the listeners own experience, it’s uncanny. JK is going from strength to strength and ‘Force of Will‘ is certainly going to be on the ballot when it comes to award nominations.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!