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Jin the MC

Jin's proper return
Joe Nguyen, staff writer
Nov. 4, 2005

Jin’s been compared to Eminem for two reasons: He’s a quick-tongued rap artist with witty lines and a knack for free-styling and, as one of his verses goes, “the only reason you compare me to him is [be]cause I’m not black neither.”

Presents the Emcee's Properganda
(Draft, 2005)

This Chinese-American rapper from New York garnered recognition after winning seven battles in seven weeks on BET’s 106 & Park’s Freestyle Fridays. Often pitted against opponents who fired attacks against his ethnicity, Jin retaliated with a barrage of elaborate one-liners that made him an instant fan favorite. He signed a contract with the Ruff Ryders and released his first album The Rest is History in 2004. The album sold over 100,000 copies, but its mediocre beats and lackluster rhymes failed to live up to the hype that Jin attained as a free-stylist.

In Presents the Emcee’s Properganda, he returns with his skills more polished and showcases his true lyrical talent, not the gibberish that was spit out in his debut. Teaming up with 16-year-old producer Golden Child, the album is a collection of laid-back, jazzy underground beats mixed with insightful rhymes about a wide variety of subjects.

In “Top 5 (Dead or Alive),” Jin lists his favorite rappers and presents a quick 5-minute-history of the genre over an arrangement of shuffling drum beats and deep, mellow bass tones. “No More Fans” is filled with sassy horn hits while he ponders why everyone wants to be a rapper nowadays. ”I wonder if this only happens in my profession, like when Jordan had the number one spot, you’d think they’d ran up on him like ‘You have to see my jumpshot.’”

Clearly disgruntled, Jin shows his distain toward the business side of hip-hop in “Perspectives,” “Properganda,” and “G.O.L.D.E.N.” In the latter, he discusses the lack of lyrical talent in many of today’s hits. “Lets take it back to the basics, lets face it, nowadays, it’s all about the beats, lyrics are wasted.” Ironically, the song has the worst beats in the album with its revving bass and odd-clicking tone complement.

Only one song, "Carpe Diem," sounds like it has a chance at radio-play because of its sweet, plucky string melody and catchy hook. Despite that, Presents the Emcee's Properganda is a solidly constructed album that deserves to be heard.

Joe Nguyen is a staff writer for asiaXpress.com. You can reach Joe at joe@asiaxpress.com.

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