Jae Skeese Takes Himself to New Heights on ”Testament of the Times” (Album Review)

Buffalo emcee Jae Skeese joining forces with Superior for his 4th full-length studio LP. Getting his start off the strength of his his debut mixtape W.A.C.K. (Women, Alcohol, Cash & Kicks) in the fall of 2010, it wasn’t until a decade later where he & 7xvethegenius gained wide exposure as the very first signees to Conway the Machine’s very own EMPIRE Distribution imprint Drumwork Music Group. The Big Ghost Ltd.-produced 3rd EP Authenticity Check & the previous album Abolished Uncertainties both elevated Skeese’s popularity in the last couple years, so Testament of the Times can only amplify it.

To get us started, “Union 2’s” hops over a guitar-laced boom bap instrumental talking about being lowkey dangerous when that’s already been proven with the last 2 projects of his that I named near the end of the previous paragraph in my opinion whereas “In My Hands” has a jazzier approach aiming to stay focused. “Cement 4’s” works in some organs asking what y’all think he did this for since he been on one for life leading into the flute-tinged “2Cents” referring to real game as priceless.

“Cantonese Characters” featuring Rome Streetz & Ty Farris comes together to deliver a lyrical onslaught for nearly 4 minutes prior to the luxurious keyboard embellishments on “Preguntas” talking about staying hungry & blessed. “Ksubi Tags” isn’t really much of an interlude rather it’s Jae over a sample-heavy boom bap beat feeling like a threat waking up, but then “Risk & Reward” draws inspiration from rap rock talking about having to work to get as nice as he is now.

O.T. the Real comes into the picture on “Sign of the Cross” somberly advises to let the problems accumulate while the delicately-produced “Broken Mirrors” talks about being in his head overthinking at times. “Mothers & Gods” clarifies that he’s never been anyone’s favorite except for his mom alongside the higher power over plainly piano chords until “Skycraper” concludes the LP on a drumless note continuing to put in the time & labor building from ground level.

The introspective story that Abolished Uncertainties told almost a year ago this month was a personal way for Jae to introduce himself to a wider audience, but I think I might prefer Testament of the Times more. Superior continues to stand as amongst the most interesting German producers in hip hop, the guest-list is tighter & Skeese here sets out to encourage everyone in taking themselves to new heights.

Score: 9/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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