Episode 164 - Jamai

23 songs, 0 samples, 1 producer, 1 songwriter, 1 singer… all within 1 artist. It could be assumed there were a multitude of team players creating such a massive piece of art. In this riveting yet personal album, “Twenty Three”.

This multidimensional masterpiece taps into a variety of genres, from afro-beat, r&b, pop, gospel, doo-wop, reggae and even opera (yes opera) coupled with soaring guitar solos and acoustic piano played by Jamai. “Twenty Three” is daring in a time where artists no longer release full albums. These 23 songs take you for an emotional and unforgettable ride. In the deeply dark and emotional “Shannon’s Last Word’s”, He speaks from the perspective of his deceased mother. In the song, Jamai theorizes what her last thoughts may have been as she laid waiting for help, after being slain by a jealous ex-boyfriend. Ballads like “Heartbeat” and “Stop Crying” lace the album with the pain of a son losing his mother at 6 years old. Jamai titles the album after the number of years she lived and the reality of the 23rd anniversary of her death leaving him emptier, with a new load of grief added to an already heavy weight.

“Twenty Three” then takes an immediate shift in gears as the track list starts rolling with “Anna”, A Bob Marley styled groove with a classic reggae bass riff underlying his pleads to a friend with benefits.

Throughout his almost 2 decades of performing and releasing music, Jamai shows that he no longer holds back on any topic. Sexual sensuality has it’s own space on “Twenty Three” with tracks like “Pink In The Middle”, “Chocolate Drop”, “Moonlight”, and “B.D.E” where he leaves little to the imagination, freely and creatively taking on classic r&b sounds. “Twenty Three” is full of genre bending songs, like doo-wop inspired “Perfume” and the almost comical “Weed Man” where he confront his girlfriend about cheating on him with her, you guessed…weed man! “Twenty Three” is a euphoric reintroduction to old listeners, where being an addictive and explosive first impression to new.