You may not have heard of him before, but underground New Jersey rapper Foul Mouth Jerk began coming up in the 1990s, and his pedigree includes the O.G. crew GFE. He’s done shows with talents like Talib, Mos Def, and Run-DMC. He’s even recorded with the Atomic Dog himself, George Clinton. And he just released his fourth solo record, titled “Streetlight Music.” So why don’t you know who he is?
The reason may be that he’s stayed true to the underground ethic of hip hop, grinding and playing clubs, which may be why folks like Murs and Grandmaster Caz (from Cold Crush Brothers) agreed to
appear on the record. It’s got that late ‘90s underground feel: Smart lyrics, scratches, samples
from BDP (and plenty of other old school legends), and simple beats that stress swing over hook. The single, “Small Town USA,” featuring Masta Ace, is extraordinary. But so are tracks like “NJ Transit,”
featuring El Da Sensai of The Artifacts, and “Tryin’ To Eat,” a coming-up-on-the-scene cut. The verses are the kind of tracks you need hear over and over, because the lines are complex enough that you can’t catch them on the first or second listen. He’s witty, deep, and innovative. On being poor, he says he’s got “a broken computer/with so many viruses/it can’t even tell what time it is.” After noting that “drug dealers are people, too,” he tells of a junkie who “quit f-ing with that LSD and ecstasy/ever since they raised the penalty/it ain’t worth the energy.” And on the political track “The Decider,” he simply samples George W. and lets the man speak for himself. Not too many rappers have a dis track for the President. But more should.
FMJ may have just dropped one of the most interesting hip hop albums of the oh-eight. Check it out.
NJ Transit (Featuring El Da Sensei)