Published Jun 04, 2019Jim Jones may not be on anyone's top five list, but he is so undeniably consistent. With little lead-up, he released his latest LP, El Capo, produced entirely by Dipset's secret weapons, the Heatmakerz. This is one of those projects that plays as well as it sounds on paper — 16 bangers that illustrate the 42-year-old entrepreneur is still as sharp as ever.
Jones usually surrounds himself with features, such as with last year's phenomenally solid Wasted Youth. So if you're looking for a truly solo affair, El Capo ain't it. The immense number of guests feels more like a compilation, though the production creates a cohesiveness that projects drowning in collaborators can sometimes lack.
The curation here is phenomenal, with the samples being an equal star of the show — as they often are when Heatmakerz are on the boards. For example, we find Jim teaming up with Fabolous to trade bars on "Nothing Lasts" which sports a flip of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long," and Fat Joe to pay homage to the city that never sleeps on the Chainsmokers sampled "NYC." There is also a sample of Diana Ross's "Missing You" on the Trav feature "Bread Right."
That's just the tip of the iceberg.
Jadakiss, Trav and Dave East (among others) all come through with solid performances — as does his Dipset brethren Cam'ron, who appears on three songs, including the standout "To Whom It May Concern," which also features Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine.
The underappreciated theme of Jim's last two efforts is the burgeoning strength of true-school New York hip-hop. For those yearning for the lost era of Diplomatic mixtape dominance, Jim is making timeless bops. Thematically similar to other releases he's had, El Capo couldn't be less innovative bar-wise — but it's actually this sticking-to-the-basics in order to deliver a strong, comfortable collection of tracks that makes it such a welcome release. (Vamplife / Heatmakerz / Empire)