One of the most famous expression surrounding hip-hop has always been: "It's a young man's game." While that may have been true in the early stages, the internet has evolved the genre further, allowing for different people of all ages to tap in to their niche tastes. One lane in particular, which has amassed mainstream attention thanks to Griselda, is the lane of rappers who are more seasoned in life, speaking on their trials and tribulations. Hailing from Virginia, rising rapper J.R.Clark has been gaining traction doing just that, as he doubles down on his new album, When Muzik Was Good.
Clocking in at 36-minutes, When Muzik Was Good is well-crafted, luxurious album that is a call back to the "Golden Age" era of the 1990s. Hanging its hat on beat selection, rhymes about lives, lifestyles, and more, J.R.Clark quickly establishes himself in a lane less traveled by rappers in today's age. Instead of relying heavily on melodies and features, he instead doubles down on substantial verses with quotable punchlines that create for an engaging listen.
Standouts on this project include "Burning up the Bag," a fast paced single that served as the precursor to the album, "They Say," an introspective record about pushing through the hate and, "911 Porsche." Produced by Dope Boyz Music, "911 Porsche," finds J.R.Clark at his most comfortable, as he rhymes about fake friends and new supporters trying to hop on bandwagons over a silky smooth beat. While the luxury raps are perfect for the radio, this deep-cut stands out as the best overall work on the album.
With this album serving as his first release of 2021, we should expect a big year from the Virginia Beach native. Take a listen to the album above and get familiar for yourself.