J Rawls History's Greatest Battles, Campaigns & Topics

J Rawls may be known as the beat-making half of underground stalwarts Lone Catalysts but he’s been making some interesting moves outside of that outfit. Following his work with various MCs on producer set The Essence of J Rawls and his 3582 project with fellow beat-maker Fat Jon on 5 Deez, J Rawls has pretty much worked entirely by himself on this project that has both head-nodding and chin-stroking appeal. The Columbus, Ohio grade school teacher has collected a seemingly disparate number of historical events and used them to inspire this largely instrumental set. Points of view come from the well-known political voices of the ’60s such as JFK ("Fulfill your Promise”) and Black Panther Bobby Seale ("Bobby Seale Bound and Gagged”), when J Rawls applies their voices to his jazzy mid-tempo beats but for the most part it’s a subtle rather than didactic ride. "Welcome To North Africa” is quietly yet sternly defiant as voices rise to a crescendo over sparse drums and "The Black Brigade of Cincinatti (Outcome)” serves as a stoic tribute to the men who faced degradation while defending that city. Despite the album being instrumental J Rawls avoids simply looping tracks in an infinite loop and adds some compositional flair so things don’t get caught in a rut. He even flirts with some g-funk influence on "February 14, 1929” and once you look up this date in history you’ll know why. While the events J. Rawls draws span different eras and geography, they all strike a chord here as part of a unique beat suite. (Female Fun)