I’ve always loved music’s ability to turn tough circumstances into beautiful art. As a culture born largely in poverty, it’s one of the reasons I ride so hard for hip-hop. To come from next to nothing and climb out of it in a way that not only allows you to take care of your family but to also inspire others is great. I’d imagine little matches that feeling of accomplishment.
Some of our favorite artists ever fit this bill and plenty of indie artists do as well. Two who aren’t afraid to share that story with us are Lester Sanchez and Quincy Jamal. Both are artists who have been on our radar here at 1DF for quite some time. The two Orlando natives have official teamed up to give us their new “Wentworth” EP. The project’s title is deeply rooted in their past and the bond they made over time.
“Wentworth is the neighborhood me and Quincy grew up in and where we met. Typical story, low income housing, both growing up single moms with nothing but stress and problems. We made the best of it though.” – Lester Sanchez
Things kick off with the struggle and how Lester and Quincy worked to get out of it on “Mountain”. On this intro the mountain is used as a simile for their gradual rise over the years. The song is short but still a great intro as Quincy Jamal packs a seemingly endless amount of flows into one verse seamlessly.
The lead single “Perfect” featuring Tah – O follows and though it was released months ago it’s still a pure banger. The song just carries that vibe that makes you want to party. If the single were mine I would still push it heavily as summer 2020 comes along. This one is special.
“Goldberg” is next and is more of a hustler’s anthem with Lester Sanchez devoting his hook to getting up and going to get it. Not the most unique subject but it’s not done in a way that’s overly repetitive or feels like something we’ve heard already. The production on this track helps to bolster it a bit. It has a nice bounce to it and both artists fall into the pocket well.
Things take a more emotional turn on “Wentworth” with “Leave Her Alone”. Here the pair tackle the subject of relationships. In specific a relationship that just can’t seem to end even though the muse wants to call it off. Nice change of pace and well placed in the scheme of the EP.
Tah – O is back for his second appearance on “Lovin Me”. This one has radio single written all over it. Lester brings one of the better hooks on an album full of catchy ones. Furthermore the beat here is simply fire. Nice use of the sample. As far as the content it’s another well positioned song as they discuss what’s real love and what’s fake.
The emotions are as high as ever as we reach “With You”. Both Lester and Quincy let their hearts lead the way with the lyrics here. It’s rooted in uplifting and sticking beside the particular apple of their eye in the song. It’s a feeling we can all relate to and it allows more of a chance for Lester Sanchez to lead the way in comparison to some of the other tracks that cater more to Quincy Jamal’s skill.
Reminiscent would be the best word to describe “My Dawgs”. Lester leads off with a hook reflecting on the good times with his partners and how he hopes they can continue on. Fellow Orlando native Pressure Dommer pops up for the last feature on “Wentworth” and adds some flare with his 16. On an EP with a lot of music dealing with triumph and the fruits of it this track offered some great contrast.
“Give Her Love” puts Quincy and Lester back into the mode of suitors. Over pulsing production they put together a song that has some deep subject matter but still is a vibe that you can dance to. That’s no easy task at all.
“Wentworth” concludes with “This Moment”. It leaves the project ending on a high note emotionally. Quincy and Lester celebrate the spoils of their accomplishments, things that they could only dream about as children back in the same neighborhood of the EP’s namesake.
The biggest thing I would commend on “Wentworth” is its chemistry between the artists. It may seem like a no-brainer that when two people link up for a project that there should be obvious chemistry on the resulting music. We’ve been shown time and time again though this isn’t necessarily the case though. Lester Sanchez and Quincy Jamal make for a formidable pairing and hearing/reviewing music from both of them as solo acts an argument can certainly be made they are better as a team other than apart.