Jim Jones is an interesting, if not extremely polarizing figure in the world of Hip-Hop. He is typically either loved or hated for his gruff voice, ostensible shouting and adherence to an almost antiquated Diplomats movement. But, no matter the opinion, Jones has tasted the fruits of success, most notably for his 2006 anthem, “We Fly High.” On his fifth release, Capo, Jones is seeking to re-stoke those popularity flames, long after he had everyone yelling, “balling!!!’”
Capo’s best cuts—as is usually the case with Jones’ music—ascribes to the formula of heavy, thunderous bass; sparse effects and addictively simple hooks. The album’s strongest track, “The Paper,” is vintage Jones and a blueprint of what originally made him relevant. Chink Santana’s pounding beat is the star, but Jones’ lines like, “in this brand new Testerosa/Three-hundred grand and it’s racin’/Pull it over that shoulder, man, and bitches going to get naked,” prove to be adequate accoutrements. “Everybody Jones” also subscribes to this recipe, an Aaron Lacrate-produced effort that has enough raucous energy to provoke its listeners into going as crazy as the title suggests.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned tracks are anomalies in a 14-song sea of bloated redundancy and hackneyed lyricism. The most ardent Jones haters would have no problems attacking the MC’s childish wordplay, with lines like, “you can’t imagine how our bodies smell/I can show you how this fuckin’ Mazerati smell”. Jones’ numerous guest spots (typically a guaranteed strong point on his albums) feature serviceable and unremarkable efforts from Raekwon on “Drops Is Out” and Cam’ron on “Getting to the Money.” The ByrdGang leader’s attempts at love songs such as “Heart Attack” and “Change the Locks” sound overly melancholy and feature illogical storytelling, respectively, while the LOGiC-produced “Perfect Day” is an utterly failed attempt at reaching post-Lasers Hip-Pop fame. Even Atlantic executives would have cringed at that sub-par effort to appeal to the masses.
Jones usually understands his shortcomings, relying heavily on typically strong guest appearance to brighten his star. However, Capo proves that even with a notable entourage and a familiar sound, 2006 is so five years ago—as is Jones’ ability to profoundly affect the world of Hip-Hop.