Fans of the Joe Budden Podcast may remember a few months ago when Rory posted a video on his Instagram feed rockin’ out with Jim Jones. At the time people wondered what all the fuss was about. Now we no longer have to wonder Jim Jones released his highly anticipated project El Capo on May 30th. Featuring production exclusively from the duo Heatmakerz (consisting of Rsonist and Thrilla).
El Capo has features from Trav, Fat Joe, Marc Scibilia, Rick Ross, Cam’ron, Rain, Fred the Godson, Maino, Drama, Fabolous, Ball Greezy, Dave East, Guordan Banks, Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine, Curren$y, Jadakiss, and Philthy Rich. El Capo is a follow to Jim Jones last project Wasted Talent that come out in 2018. El Capo takes the listener on a journey through Harlem, NY while exploring the good, bad, and ugly regarding the dope game. The interludes between songs are meaningful and automatically set up the next track. The samples paired with the beats Heatmakerz selected instantly give the feeling of nostalgia. Here is a track by track break down:
1. Cristal Occasions- is the lead track which sets the tone for the entire album. This is a record that all former and current dope boys can relate too. “Can’t go to the dealer, coppin’ a drop’s a habit I was telling this bitch that I got lots of habits” The song ends with an excerpt from the movie Paid in Full Mitch explaining why he loves the game.
2. Love of the Hustle ft. Trav- stand out track on the record that perfectly explains the rules to the game and what it takes to stay on top of the game. Jim raps about his love for material possessions “Shit, millionaire mined, I should kill ‘em with kindness instead I’m blowing smoke as I’m fillin’ my nine clip I had to tell a ho that I’m still in my prime, bitch.”
3. Make No Issues of It- gives a full account of what life was like before the ‘gram and how the feds would do surveillance to account for all of the actions that took place also it pays homage the bro code and how it is not respected in this present time. “Fuck the politics, fuck the policies don’t apply for loans, we ain’t got checks for your college fees the only world we recognize are the tech and the ‘nologies”
4. NYC ft Fat Joe- during this track Jim Jones and Fat Joe rap as current Kingpins explaining the game to their soldiers. Jim states, “I don’t jog in Central Park, don’t need mistaken identity watch for the scammers because they takin’ identities” This is an obvious reference to the Central Park Five case and police locking up innocent people taking their identities. Fat Joe rhymes, “I been runnin’ it ever since, these niggas is on E I got ‘em trappin’ out the Air bnb.” The track ends with news reports of all the people that have died young the stories also include the deaths of Tupac, Biggie, Aaliyah, Mac Miller, and the late great Nipsey Hussle
5. Good Die Young feat. Marc Scibilia- the song opens with elements of The O'Jays, "What Am I Waiting For” Marc Scibilia skillful is soulfully sings the hook which takes the record to the next level Jim Jones gives an in depth look about death whether it comes from being locked up or at the hands of someone else it always around the corner.” The fire start to hit and the fee hid the cracks for a rush brothers killin’ brothers so how could you ask me about trust?” The song ends with kids saying the pledge of allegiance
6. State of the Union feat. Rick Ross and Marc Scibilia- the overall concept of this track is dope. Jim Jones gives his political views while Ross does not quite match Jones’ passion on the subject.” You could build a wall as tall as the sky we all know the coke still go far from the sky.” “And my thoughts on the legalization and they tryna turn weed into a legal libation why won’t they legalize Haitians?”
7. Pity in the Summer feat. Cam’ron, Rain, Fred the Godson, and Marc Scibilia- the is another standout track that perfectly reflects New York it has the vibe that is perfect for driving around in the summertime “With all my efforts is so effortless I treat these raps like cracks when I was cheffin’ bricks”
8. My Era feat. Maino and Drama- Jim and Maino tell their story of exactly what it was like when they were coming up this is my personal favorite track off the project. “Runnin’ ‘round, a thousand grams inside a hundred grand Carrera Rockin’ two G’s, a couple grand on the sweater, add ‘em up, these is Gucci mathematics”
9. Nothing Lasts feat. Fabolous and Marc Scibilia-this vibe starts out automatically in the 80’s with the sample of Lionel Ritchie “Dancing on the Ceiling” Jim and Fab together is something that New York as well as hip hop has been waiting for a while and the styles of Harlem and Brooklyn fit and merge together flawlessly “I was way more into money than I was into dame I was prayin’ for the summers when the winter came” Ends with excerpt from New Jack City with the kids saying yes to education
10. Cocaine Dreamin’ feat. Ball Greezy and Dave East-describes the life in times of a cocaine dealer and the lifestyle that comes with hustlin’. “I be scared to fall asleep, Medusa all on my sheets in my car, spilled Givenchy sauce all on my seats”
11. Mama I Made It feat. Cam’ron- Jim reflects on his life and what attracted him to the street “Another three, they goin’ down for an armed robbery It’s all facts, I can’t tell a lie I pray to God ‘cause he told me that the devil lies” Cam’ron also goes head to head with Jim on this track with his hot line “Why you askin’ questions? You the one I chose to come play Besides, who else goin’ get you Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday?”
12. To Whom it May Concern feat. Cam’ron, Guorden Banks, Benny the Butcher, and Conway the Machine- is an op-ed to whoever questions the decisions that have been made that are apart of each of these fellas’ story. “Get your money rest of the week ‘cause on Tuesday they return for this bread, I’m on my lawyer’s head ‘til my new case is adjourned.”
13. Sports Cars feat. Curren$y- Jim automatically comes for the neck of those who floss and may not really have the means to support their lifestyle. “I’m from Harlem, where all we know is how to stay fresh twenty years later, a few connects that I ain’t paid yet.”
14. Song Boxing- this track is less than 2 minutes but worth listening too especially because at the end he pays homage to Biggie. “I’m ill, little mama, hundred G’s each wrist so when I throw up gang signs, two hundred G’s in my flick I been ready to die like B.I.G. was in this bitch, nigga”
15. Bread Right feat. Trav- starts off with a sample of Diana Ross’ “Missing You” no hip-hop album would be complete without at least one song dedicated to the loyal ladies who give their dude just a little space so that he can stack and hook his lady up. “I wanna take you on jets and kill it in the Lear red carpet events and we the realest there and now we synchronize watches in different time zones”
16. Don’t Know What They Took Him For feat. Jim Jones, Jadakiss, and Philthy Rich- the best conclusion
through this expedition of New York this record gives the listener free game on how to stay ahead. “It’s not weapon they can form against me that will prosper I been whippin’ foreign Bentleys with an ill posture”
Overall, El Capo is a complete body of work which has been needed in hip-hop over the past year. I really enjoyed the interludes that lead to the next song. I would have loved for them to follow on every track. The rawness of Jim Jones’ life is what makes people listen repeatedly. Hopefully by his next project he will give dope boys and exit plan out of the dope game. I give his album 4 crowns out of 5. Click on the links below to hear his project.