Features, Reviews

Review: J. Tallie keeps it cool on “Suavae” LP

No matter whether we all want to admit or not we all have a desire to be considered cool. The understated “it factor” that can propel or hault a person’s popularity dates back to elementary school and can still be found in our adulthood through social media outlets. Even in rap this same desire exists as rappers jockey for position atop hip-hop’s hierarchy.

It’s largely in this mindframe that we find Oxford, Mississippi MC J. Tallie on his latest project “Suavae”. An LP brimming with an aura of confidence, “Suavae” acts as the third project in his catalog following 2016’s “Nonfiction: The Hustle Tape” and 2017’s “Trapmack”. Interestingly enough the concept for “Suavae” almost didn’t come to life originally according to J. Tallie. “I was really about to make a Trapmack 2, then I dropped the song Suavae and decided to make an album based around that. I just think it’s the type of vibe of who I am as an artist, like it kind of represents my brand.”

J. Tallie wastes no time setting the tone for the album with the title track leading things off. “Suavae” is just as the name describes, a smooth cut filled with playastic rhymes. The production helps add to the laid back vibe which leads flawlessly into “Big Dog”. On the latter we get less of a focus on the women, with J. Tallie instead staking his claim as someone who runs his domain. Hip-Hop has always been rooted in competition and he flexes his muscle towards his opposition a bit here.

“Bout It” not only carries a label that is reminiscent to Master P’s enterprise but also carries a similar sound to the music that made No Limit hot. Heavy bass and 808 drums lay the background for J. Tallie to state what makes him about whatever action that may come his way. “Super Saucy” follows and is finds the star of the show back in full playa mode. You can’t be suave without having the swag to match and he let’s it be known he has that in abundance. The hook is super catchy here I could hear people turning up to this one.

The vibe up until now on “Suavae” is shifted a bit on “Trap Talk”. As the title may indicate the single is one where J. Tallie lets you know he is able to get it out the mud with ease. The sequencing is perfect as it flows into “Industry”. The subject matter is similar on the two tracks, with the latter being a statement on how his influences come more from the streets in comparison to some of his peers in the rap industry.

Suavae’s macked out vibe returns on “Kush & Cognac”. On an album full of laid back cuts this one may take the cake as the most mellowed one. It’s literally one to break down and pour up to. You can just kick your feet up and vibe as J. Tallie drops some witty verses over a G-Funk sounding beat. Cant go wrong with that.

We reach the second half of the album with what I would consider a statement track in “One Deep”. Here J. Tallie makes it apparent he can stand on his own two without the need to depend on others to get where he is going. Though there is a clear purpose to his topic here the sound meshes well with what has been laid down thus far.

“Flex” follows and instantly shifts the mood to one more akin to a club banger. The overall vibe of the track is to inspire stunting and if that isn’t what the club is built for I’ve never been to one. “Diamonds” represents a similar feeling of success and fun with his ice becoming the topic of choice. This also holds a case for best beat on the entire album. Good sequencing having these two tracks back-to-back.

J. Tallie keeps the energy high as bangers like “Snack”, “Have Ha” and “Gettin’ To It” come next. Those lead into another personal standout for me in “Last”. Not only is the hook catchy with some nice production, but his flow on the verses were impeccable. He manages to still maintain the boss status of the album exhibits while still introducing some vulnerability on Tallie’s part. This record kind of gives me a feeling reminiscent of Webbie on “Savage Life”. Certainly one of my favorite entries on “Suavae”.

The closer of the LP is “Celebration” and is the ideal record to leave the listener with. On an album that feels like a night out on the town with J. Tallie for the most part, it is only fitting to end with a celebratory record. It’s a feel good record that really makes it palpable that life is worth living.

All things considered I think “Suavae” is a project that is well worth a listen. If I had to offer criticism, it’s that I dont think he had enough records that come from more of a introspective place. If this is your first time listening to J. Tallie I’m not sure you come away from it feeling as though you know more aboit his story after listening. That being considered, I’m not really sure that was his goal for the set. In the end he still bangs out several tracks fit for your late night escapades that are well constructed and enjoyable enough to make you come back to “Suavae” after the initial listen. Be sure to check it out.

Follow J. Tallie on social media at @JTallieGME

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