Murder Weapon, a Posthumous Album by Bay Area Icon the Jacka, Set to Release on February 28th via EMPIRE
Lead Single “Can’t Go Home” ft. Freddie Gibbs Continues “Jack History Month,” Paying Tribute to the Rapper Five Years After His Death
With Appearances from Curren$y, Berner, Paul Wall, Styles P, The Mob Figaz, Killa Priest, Cormega, and More, the Powerful and Spiritual New Album Affirms the Jacka’s Stature as a Legend in the Bay and Beyond
“Oakland rapper the Jacka’s new album suggests he should be recognized as one of the last decade’s strongest writers—both within and outside of hip-hop. He makes accessible music that could easily appeal to a wide audience, but What Happened to the World will most readily reach those who still value hip-hop as an art form of evocative lyricism.” – Pitchfork
“It was his talent for writing about the West Coast thug life with unflinching honesty, and a slightly wheezy, yet magnetic, voice, that made him a beloved artist.” – Rolling Stone
“Staunchly independent with commercial highlights in spite of that independence, The Jacka was regionally revered while remaining lightly indifferent to local trends. Throughout his voluminous discography, The Jacka regaled listeners with saccharine chorus hooks, while his wheezy yet stern flow dispatched nuanced, panoramic hustler scenes. Gangsta narratives were tempered by deep empathy — in this regard, The Jacka was an heir to 2Pac.” – East Bay Express
“One of the Bay Area’s most respected lyricists, The Jacka gave voice to the complexities and contradictions of following a spiritual path while doing what it took to survive.” – KQED
Known for his bottomless street wisdom and deep spirituality, the Jacka was a unique figure in Hip-Hop. Five years after his death, the Jacka’s presence returns with Murder Weapon, a forthcoming posthumous release. The finished version of an album the Mob Figaz emcee was working on before his untimely passing, Murder Weapon fulfills the artist’s original vision, compiling dozens of unreleased verses and keeping the original instrumentals whenever possible. The upcoming album is a celebration of the Jacka’s life and career, completed by many of his artist friends and producers, including frequent collaborators like RobLo, Maki, DJ Child, Lev & AK.
“Jacka and I started working on this project before he passed,” explains the Jacka’s management. “He had already announced to the world that his next album would be titled Murder Weapon and that it would be his best body of work to date. The last album he dropped, What Happened To The World?, was originally meant to be a promotional lead-in to Murder Weapon, just like he released The Street Album just before Tear Gas.”
A testament to the Jacka’s enduring legacy, the album features verses from Husalah, Rydah J. Klyde, & FedX of the Mob Figaz, as well as appearances from a long list of hip-hop legends from all over the nation, including Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y, Berner, Styles P, Paul Wall, Killah Priest, Cormega, and more. Coming at the end of Jack History Month, Murder Weapon releases on February 28th via EMPIRE.
“Murder Weapon is a mixture of songs that were recorded specifically for the album and other great records that he recorded around the same time,” the Jacka’s management continues. “Some of the songs were fully done and others we completed by adding features from artists that he was close to or wanted to do music with. The goal was to finish the album as close to how he would have done it as possible.”
To accompany the announcement of the album, the Jacka’s team shares “Can’t Go Home,” a new collaboration with Freddie Gibbs. A soulful, and reflective track, aided by Maki‘s twinkling production, “Can’t Go Home” showcases The Jacka’s conversational flow and appealingly raspy singing, as he reminisces on his early life and his life philosophy: “My people lookin’ at me, sayin’ ‘boy, you made it out!’/But I wasn’t happy ’til we all had the same amount/Pops locked crack’s the only thing can save us now/Mom’s hooked, but tough luck is what made my style.” In the second verse, Gibbs thunders through with his authoritative flow, bragging about his ability to remain true to the streets even amidst rising commercial success: “Since I touched the game, that sh*t ain’t been the same/They tryna freeze me out but they can’t kill the kane/Make a million every time I drop, so fuck the fame/I can put some young’ns on your bumper for a piece of change.”
“Jack has a huge vault of unreleased material that he recorded when he was alive,” says the Jacka’s management. “There’s a tremendous amount of unreleased Jacka music that hopefully will hit the streets over the next few years.”
Check out a wide-ranging retrospective on The Jacka’s life and legacy at KQE, and stay tuned for more announcements about Murder Weapon coming very soon.
The Jacka Background:
Shaheed Akbar, a.k.a. The Jacka (1977-2015), was a foundational figure in the Bay Area rap scene. A member of the legendary crew The Mob Figaz, he built a cult following in the Bay Area with releases such as The Jack Artist (2005) and Tear Gas (2009), which peaked at #93 on the Billboard 200. Known for his street wisdom and deep spirituality, The Jacka remained prolific throughout the 2010s, collaborating with the likes of Freeway, Berner, Andre Nickatina, and Ampichino on full-length albums, and releasing several acclaimed albums on his own. In 2015, The Jacka was assassinated by an unknown gunman, but his memory lives on through the love of his neighborhood and through the many tributes paid by his fellow rappers. Now, five years after his passing, The Jacka’s team will release Murder Weapon, a brand new album with appearances from the likes of Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y, Berner, and his Mob Figaz associates, due February 28th.
Founded in 2010 by San Francisco native Ghazi Shami, EMPIRE has experienced immense growth through their innovative approach to independent label, distribution and publishing services. With their focus on early stage artist development, the San Francisco based company has been instrumental in launching the careers of multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, DRAM and Anderson. Paak. In 2019, the independent EMPIRE continues to make a major impact, with smash hits and new music from Snoop Dogg, Iggy Azalea, XXXTentacion, Young Dolph, The Free Nationals, and more.