Jean Grae: Dust Ruffle

dust ruffleJean Grae
Dust Ruffle
(Blacksmith Records/Warner Bros.)

Jean Grae has long been adored as a charismatically witty persona. She was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and since her early beginnings as a rap artist in New York City, she continues onward, hoisted atop the shoulders of her very diverse, robust and ever growing fan base. Her lyrical art moves with the velocity and jab of darts pitched at an already flinching dartboard. Her degree of hitting the bullseye target flies on the wings of underground and mainstream popular culture references, witty disses, elevated yet academic wordplay and a street level awareness. Jean Grae could easily win Jeopardy! and steal your significant other right put from under you. Her latest album, Dust Ruffle, is wickedly endearing and boundless in the intellectual sense. Tracks pierce through all sorts of nerd culture, hip hop and hipster bravado. Fiery quick slices of synth, electric guitar and complementary bass and drum decorate “The Setup,” where Grae mentions Topanga, a character from the TV show Boy Meets World, in her storytelling as the song unfolds as a potentially gritty bar scene from a movie not yet made. Honoring her impressive work ethic and repping herself all over the place, loops of running bass lines, drums and her edgy, vindictive delivery remains unmatched on “What Cha Gonna Do.” The track “Admire Quagmire” is inundated with a slower paced mid-tempo R&B feel, while her rhyme play abilities intoxicate. Dust Ruffle: Songs I Found Under My Bed is a compendium of works, hence the full title, as it consists of unreleased songs from 2004 to 2010.

The album can be purchased here.

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