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DJ Jazzy Jeff - The Return of the Magnificent

DJ Jazzy Jeff, Return of the Magnificent

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

WHEN Jazzy Jeff dropped Jeff n Fess as the first single from his second producer album The Return Of The Magnificent I had high hopes that we could be about to witness one of the old-skool hip hop albums of the year.

The single was a riot of energy, old-skool loops, beats, breaks and classic flow (featuring Rhymefest). Sadly, the rest of the album struggles to come anywhere close to the feel-good vibe of that single.

Rather, it’s a somewhat laboured offering that seems to take an eternity to get where it’s going. There are some nice touches – including a comedy phone call to Will Smith towards the end of proceedings – but on the whole this emerges as a disappointing hip hop album.

What’s more, it fails to make the most of its talented vocal guest list, which ranges from De La Soul’s Pos through J-Live, Jean Grae, Method Man and Big Daddy Kane to CL Smooth, Kardinal Offishall and Raheem DeVaughn.

Of the better stuff, Let Me Hear U Clap, featuring Pos, is a semi-decent effort – albeit lacking the verve of Jeff n Fess, while the scratch-tastic Hold It Down, featuring Method Man, succeeds in giving things a much needed energy boost.

But too often the album seems content to rely on fairly routine beats and melodies that struggle to lend it any sort of identity.

Songs like Go See The Doctor, Run That Back and Touch Me Wit Your Handz, featuring ChinahBlac, lack any real sparkle – even though they thankfully manage to steer clear of some of the more offensive material littering the mainstream hip hop circle.

At a time when the best hip hop artists seek to mix things up a little – such as Gym Class Heroes, K-os, El-P and even Kanye West – Jazzy Jeff seems to be playing things a little too safe.

Genre enthusiasts who like their beats to conform to a strict tried and tested criteria will probably hail the return as “magnificent”, but given Jazzy Jeff’s standing and the talent he has assembled this has to rate as a very disappointing return indeed.

Download picks: Let Me Hear U Clap, Hold It Down, Jeff n Fess

Track listing:

  1. Hip Hop – Feat. Twone Gabz
  2. Let Me Hear U Clap – Feat. Pos Of De La Soul
  3. Run That Back – Feat. Eshon Burgundy & Black Ice
  4. The Definition – Feat. Kel Spencer
  5. Touch Me Wit Ur Handz – Feat. ChinahBlac
  6. Jeff n Fess – Feat. Rhymefest
  7. Practice – Feat. J Live
  8. Supa Jean – Feat. Jean Grae
  9. The Garden – Feat. Big Daddy Kane
  10. She Was So Flyy – Feat. Kardinal Offishall
  11. Hold It Down – Feat. Method Man
  12. All I Know – Feat. CL Smooth
  13. Go See The Doctor 2k7 – Feat. Twone Gabz
  14. My Soul Ain’t For Sale – Feat. Raheem Devaughn
  15. Come On – Feat. Dave Ghetto
  16. Brand New Funk 2k7 – Feat. Peedi Peedi

Bonus Track
  1. Can’t Buy Me Love – Feat. Biz Markie