27 February 2018

Namibia: J-Bentley Is 'Not Guilty'

J-BENTLEY recently released his album 'Not Guilty' which delivers a blend of hip-hop and kwaito.

While the diversity and the ability to pull off multiple genres is always a plus for an artist, if he strictly focused on kwaito, the album would be a much better listen as the kwaito songs such as 'Jersey Number 10' were more enjoyable than the rest of the tracks offered.

But seeing as most of the songs are hip-hop, I would consider this album to be a hip-hop album, which is unfortunate for the artist.

What makes hip-hop enjoyable is innovation, creativity, originality and the ability to weave words together to deliver powerful messages.

J-Bentley got the message part of it down. While lacking flow and lyrical prowess throughout 'Not Guilty', the feature that added a bit of diversity and quality is definitely Bertholdt's vocals on 'I'm Sorry Mama'. Regarding originality, 'Not Guilty' seems to have borrowed from hits way before its time.

'I'm Sorry Mama' borrows phrasing and the melody from Eminem's 'Cleaning Out My Closet', while track three 'So In Love' featuring Venus incorporates a famous adlib from 'Dilemma' (2002).

'Dis Windhoek Hierso' completely borrows the instrumentals of Matoma and Notorious BIG's 'Old Thing Back', ultimately making it the only entertaining aspect of the song.

Further on into the album, J-Bentley starts off with perhaps one of Tupac's most famous opening lines from 'Changes' on the song 'It's Not Easy' featuring Syclone.

While not being the best album out there, the effort and passion behind the music can be felt, which is important in any project you take on.

The mixing and mastering was done well and hopefully next time we'll see more of J-Bentley in his music.


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