The last time I heard an album as intricately detailed as J-Zone‘s Fish-N-Grits was in 1999, when Prince Paul delivered his highly acclaimed concept album A Prince Among Thieves.
The “millennial swag-boi blog-lover’s” seventh solo outing is brimming with live drumming (in which he recently revealed he picked up in 2012), his trademark witty humor and some of the livest, swinging funk you’ve ever come across on a Hip-Hop record.
Now, the other walking-music-encyclopedia tackles “the delusional state of the music industry, gentrification, the good and bad of nostalgia, police brutality” and more on his 15-track LP, which features the likes of Al-Shid and Has-Lo. Stream it below.
As a student of samplers, drummer, multi-instrumentalist and collector of archaic studio gear, Zone was able to chef Fish-n-Grits into his most sonically versatile album to date. A stew of dirty, funky live drumming, bizarre samples, pulsating percussion and menacing bass that stretches in vibe from a circa 1969 funk instrumental to a twisted, analog interpretation of trap music, Fish-n-Grits has moments inspired by just about everyone. The Meters, Prince Paul, The Incredible Bongo Band, Project Pat, Public Enemy, George Clinton, Kool Keith, Bernard Purdie and Suga Free have all obviously carved out space in Zone’s music library, but the sound remains his own.