Artist: Joe Ness
For some people making music is more like a hobby but for artists and rappers like Brooklyn native Joe Ness, it is his life. He has been part of the rap scene for more than 10+ years and who has perfected the catchy hook to gain fans, he´s someone that enjoys word play and often you’ll have to listen a few times before you catch onto his metaphors and analogies. He has done shows in and around the city including Downtown Brooklyn College fest alongside Action Bronson, Joey Badass, Biz Markie and Pusha T. He has performed at Play Lounge in Queens and the Trash Bar in Williamsburg. Joe Ness has also ranked as high as #1 on Reverbnation for Hip Hop artists in Brooklyn. He has also appeared on WSHH twice in the past few years. He has dropped two successful mix tapes on Datpiff so far. The first titled “Off The Bench” debuted in 2012 and had a few thousand downloads within the first couple of months. The second mix tape titled “Flight Class” was widely received and went silver with almost 100,000 views and 55,000 downloads. His follow up, Ellipsis is definitely a great follow up and a proof Joe´s career is far from over.
The album starts with a great into defining the album´s title and immediately there´s no doubt this is not album suitable for little children and that his lyrics will be tough. ¨The Reign¨ is well-produced and rhymes and words comes effortless, it´s obvious at least on the chorus there´s some Rihanna (more specific ¨Umbrella¨) influences but that´s it, the rest of the song is catchy and the piano works as a nice tough and gives that apologetic vibe. His style could be comparable to the likes of T.I., Wiz Khalifa, NAS and icons like B.I.G. and 2Pac. What I am trying to say with that is that it´s catchy but some of the lyrics like ¨Cinderella¨ has a story about the life in the street and in the hood.
Top tracks – Intro, The Rein, Run Away (love for the blend of Usher and Imogen Heap)
Perhaps my only negative comments -though I know some will be thinking ¨What did you expect¨- is that after a while, everything starts sounding almost the same. Yes, every producer at his own style and they are not a mimic of the last track, each has their own identity but it can easily be comparable to other rappers out there, so there isn´t too much originality.
Overall, though, this is an album you can really have fun with in a club, car or in your house and dance and sing along with it, and even if isn´t the most original and unique rap album –which something tells me wasn´t Joe´s intention anyways-, it definitely worth a listen and its enjoyable, definitely a radio friendly (though they will rather use a clean version of the songs) and can see Joe going places.
By RJ Frometa