It seems that every school in America has its own rap scene. There is always that one or two guys or girls who think they can “spit” on the mic. Sometimes, they are surprisingly good and more often than not, they aren’t. At Mercy College, we have our own up-and-coming artist by the name of JMac. When I first heard that he rapped, I laughed, thinking to myself, “No way this kid is much more than a few rhymes.” However, I was more wrong than I thought. Over this past summer, JMac released his first mixtape on SoundCloud, JMax Hypetrain, a collection of funky rhymes and beachy vibes. Let’s take a look at what he has to offer.
JMac opens the project by describing his “lyrics [are] out of this world” and, to be honest, he isn’t completely wrong. He shows some serious lyrical talent throughout the projects with highlights on “Inspiration” and “50 Rhymes (Intermission).” While JMac proves that he can rhyme quite well, he still has improvements to make on his general flows. The tracks “Definition of JMac” and “Plant Matter” feature some solid work on this aspect, each playing nicely with the beat he is rapping over. It proves that he has the ability and room to grow. However, much of the mixtape features verses that feel a bit more choppy and looser than one would hope for. JMac doesn’t show too much versatility in his voice while rapping, however, does provide us with a little singing on “Home,” something I hope we see more in future projects.
The beats picked for the project are so fitting for JMac’s general vibe. With his stoner lyrics, beachy sounds, and funky styles, you can tell there were a lot of joints smoked in the making of the project. We also see a huge amount of JMac’s influences through the beats he chose to use, with instrumentals sounding more like they would fit on a Dirty Heads or Aer album (two of which come from Aer’s The Bright Side). Everything just feels so fitting, not to mention some awesome beats on the tracks “Plant Matter” and “Where The Cops At: The Return.” He understands his style and vibe and with that, picked the right set of instrumentals to match perfectly.
JMax Hypetrain is a SoundCloud mixtape. Therefore, the quality is not top-notch and that is expected. When artists don’t have the resources, they can’t always produce great sounding work but, as with any business, content is key. With that said, it’s hard to gauge the overall production quality when we know up front JMac wasn’t working with the best. However, as a project, the flow is very solid. The transitions need a bit of work but the buildup to some really fun tracks at the end is well done. It almost feels like the mixtape is a hyped-up locomotive and it just needs a bit of time to get warmed up before its flying down the rails.
“Plant Matter,” “50 Rhymes (Intermission),” and “Where The Cops At: The Return”
For a white dude out of a small college in New York, JMac is better than you expect. He recognizes his audience and his style and sticks with it. We don’t see him bounce around with five different flows or sounds, instead, everything sticks with that stoner beach vibe. JMax Hypetrain is a solid first mixtape and gets a:
With practice and time, I think we will see JMac creating some strong work in the near future. If you are apart of the Mercy community, keep your eye out for him as I think he may have some growth and potential that he has yet to tap into.