Album: Jahzel – The Wake Up
Chronicling the “Other” Side of Chicago Rap is Jahzel’s The Wake Up, Premiere via HotNewHipHop
Critical Praise for Jahzel:
“Jahzel’s first impression is a solid one.” – The Smoking Section
“This is music with few hang-ups…perfect for a summer hip-hop playlist.” – PrefixMag
“Jahzel’s future brightens with every new release… we’re excited to hear more.” – HotNewHipHop
The release of Jahzel’s sophomore album, The Wake Up, has been a long time coming. The Chicago native has put in work for the past year to deliver what could be considered to be his breakout moment. Simultaneously of the streets and above it, The Wake Up is his personal narrative of living in a city rich with many layers. Beyond the media’s over-saturated dissection of Drill and Chiraq lies a more complex and multidimensional realm, a fragile and unique space that Jahzel occupies. The Wake Up embraces all of Chicago’s facets: her beautiful struggles, her ugly truths, and her stark dichotomies.
Born and raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in Chicago’s Northside, Jahzel’s sheltered home life was more than “at odds” with the unforgiving streets outside his front door. Considered to be too “hood” for ministry school but too “white” for the hood, Jahzel’s outsider status laid the foundation for his album. Inheriting both Chicago’s blue-collar work ethic and Jehovah Witness’ traits of persistence and patience, Jahzel learned to overcome the challenges of life through perseverance and hard work. “Adversity is what molds me,” says Jahzel. As a man embodying a myriad of juxtapositions that relate to religion, street life, race, class, and being the son of first generation Nigerian immigrants, Jahzel’s complex experience of growing up in an often misunderstood city is put on display in his sophomore album, The Wake Up.
The Wake Up radiates the type of positivity and soulfulness that hasn’t been present in Chicago since the early 2000s. Whether it’s the autobiographical “Faithful,” premiered by HotNewHipHop or the crew anthem “Who Is You?!” debuted by 2DopeBoyz, Jahzel has delivered quality content in the lead-up to his second album. Like his track “John Stockton/Radio Raheem,” which debuted on XXL, every song from his album plays upon his past growing up in Chicago and the bright future he has charted for himself. The song is a long metaphor, in which Jahzel spits he’ll “assist where he can.” The track “No Tears No Tissue,” which touches on the the struggles women with low self esteem face is a perfect example of how capable Jahzel is with switching up his subject matter. With his second album, Jahzel has created a cohesive body of work that can speak to both the kid in church and on the street.
Listen to The Wake Up: https://soundcloud.com/jahzelmusic/sets/the-wake-up
Check out the HotNewHipHop premiere: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/jahzel-the-wake-up-new-mixtape.115673.html
Purchase The Wake Up on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-wake-up/id959982460?ls=1
Only a true Chicagoan can fully understand the city’s hustle mentality – simultaneously holding down multiple jobs while going to school, taking care of our families, and being active in our communities, all while pursuing our dreams and goals. It’s the Chicago way. Chicago-born musician Jahzel, eats, sleeps, and breaths that mentality: “We [Chicagoans} are hustlers in general; we get it done,” he says proudly. “I am telling the story about Chicago that hasn’t been told – that along with the bad things that are happening, there are plenty of positive things going on. This is the real story of Chicago and I think people can relate to it.” Jahzel has always been a proud Chicagoan, and his most recent project, The Wake Up, is an ode to the city he holds dear.
“Who Is You?!” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fpML8OnG6Y
“John Stockton / Radio Raheem”: https://soundcloud.com/jahzelmusic/03-john-stockton-radio-raheem/s-V210C
“Wake Up!” video: http://youtu.be/4usNJYRSD2s
“Who Is You?!”: https://soundcloud.com/jahzelmusic/who-is-you/
“Wake Up!”: https://soundcloud.com/jahzelmusic/wake-up
“The Collective” Webisode Series, Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeOr0vAGnBg
Bio, pictures, and streams available here: http://www.audibletreats.com/jahzel