Review: Zo The Jerk & Frost Gamble – Black Beach

Zo The Jerk & Frost Gamble – Black Beach

Detroit’s Zo The Jerk links up with Winnipeg’s Frost Gamble on production for the Black Beach LP and the results will appeal to fans hungry for “Grown Man Rap” over Boom Bap Beats.

There are multiple mentions of “soul music” throughout the album and that is the perfect way to describe most of the songs on Black Beach. The majority of the beats have a soul music feel while maintaining their gritty edge, a task easier said than done for most producers. The chemistry between Frost’s soulful yet hard beats perfectly match Zo’s aggressive yet intelligent lyrics as the Producer and MC seem fully on the same page for the duration of the project.

Zo The Jerk is a force to be reckoned with on the mic. His in-your-face delivery combined with socially conscious lyrics that cover topics a varied as materialism (“America Made Me” with fellow Detroit vet Guilty Simpson), relationships (“Mother of My Child”), police brutality (“Loyal Victims”), perfecting his craft (“Etch A Sketch”) and fatherhood (“Keep Me Safe”) to name a few. In an era where Hip-Hop is segregated into subgenres like “conscious” “street” and “commercial” it’s refreshing to see an MC able to make such sonically aggressive music with weighty topics and ideas thrown into the mix.

While it’s clear Zo could carry an LP by himself, he brings some friends along for the ride that add to the overall package. Slaughterhouse’s KXNG Crooked, Brand Nubian’s Sadat X, Detroit’s Guilty Simpson and NY’s Tone Chop (Check Out The Pop Break’s review of Tone Chop & Frost Gamble’s latest release here.)

are just some of the MC’s that lend their talents to Black Beach and mesh incredibly will with Frost Gamble’s production.

Black Beach is one of the best examples of “Grown Man Rap” we’ve heard in a while and while most of the album won’t appeal to kids going to Coachella or camping out for the new Yeezy’s, it is absolutely a dope album for purists and fans of gritty, aggressive music with a message.

Best Songs: America Made Me, Blaxploitation, Keep Me Safe

Perfect For: Your headphones on any form of public transportation

Score: 8/10

Also Worth Checking Out…

Bobby Briz: Brazantium – Staten Island native and Kidz from the Burbz/OBX affiliate Bobby Briz’s first solo album features some of the best up-and-coming talent in the Tri-State area and Bobby’s own aggressive flow and thought provoking lyrics that combine to make “Brizantium” one of the best underground albums of 2017.

Mogul – Podcast veteran Combat Jack linked up with Gimlet Media and Spotify for this mini-series about the life and untimely death of music industry mogul Chris Lighty.  The show’s high production values, great writing/delivery and celebrity interviews make it a must-listen for both fans of the entertainment industry and long form podcast documentaries like Serial and S-Town

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.