J Hus’ growth over the last four years or so has been nothing short of incredible. His 2017 debut album Common Sense was an important moment for the hip-hop scene in the UK. Produced entirely by Jae5, the album was heavy in boom-bap beats, as well as Afroswing, a sub-genre he has somewhat pioneered since then. The lush and lavish production was rich in textures, with silky synths, heavy percussion and groovy basslines that captured amazing creative spirit coming out of the UK at that time. Tracks like “Common Sense,” “Leave Me,” “Goodies” and of course “Did You See” were anthems to me, and it was clear that this man was going to be a star. Though unfortunate police arrests hampered his creative development, his brand new album Big Conspiracy represents musical growth and maturity, bringing heaps of soul and an utterly mesmeric vibe that reverberates throughout the 40 minutes of music.
It warms my heart seeing this man win and succeed. From the beautiful, colourful and soulful opener “Big Conspiracy” featuring icèe tgm to the introspective and utterly heartfelt closer “Deeper Than Rap,” the supremely talented 23 year old is able to capture such raw emotive energy. “Fight for Your Right” features some heavy drums and eerie synths from producer IO that complement J Hus’ menacing flow throughout the track, rapping about survival and having deal with time in prison among other things. “Triumph” is a colourful, heartfelt track about finding success in the midst of all the fake bullshit that surrounds him. Burna Boy’s contribution on “Play Play” is excellent, and J Hus’ confident delivery is backed by sweet lyrics about love and women. Koffee’s vocals on “Repeat” are infectious, and at 19 she’s definitely one of the most exciting future artists of this generation. Previously released “No Denying” is the anthem of this year so far, with a heavy beat and swirling synths from TobiShyBoy. “Must Be,” the other single off this incredible project is another excellent track. It features a subtle jazzy and orchestral instrumental that’s complemented by hard-hitting drums. The love and self-awareness J Hus has shown throughout the album, especially on tracks like “Love, Peace and Prosperity” is inspiring, while the heavy and transparent honesty on “Deeper Than Rap” shows him lament on previous hardships, especially his unfortunate time in prison – “I don’t wanna make friends, I don’t wanna break the ice / I think about my life and I analyze / The gun man was aimin’ at me but he wasn’t precise / I look down the barrel of the gun and saw paradise / They don’t wanna see us win, they wanna sabotage / The next time they see me in the flesh, I be camouflage.”
The album as a whole showcases an artist at the peak of his creative powers, flexing his musical prowess over some bold, fierce and thumping production. J Hus is one of the most talented young musicians working today, and Big Conspiracy is an album that embodies black excellence. Listen to it below via Spotify, and make sure you support!