When I call J-Zone, he’s in the middle of doing the dishes. I’ve got lesson plans and papers that need grades. But Fish N Grits dropped, a new J-Zone album, and that’s more important than both. J-Zone has never been the type of artist to just crank out an album of twelve songs, three skits, and some corny artwork and call it a day. To understand a J-Zone album is to fully grasp the many layered steps in the creative process. Rest assured that no detail is left to random chance, from the intricately-selected and placed audio clips down to the compression on the snare.
Fish N Grits finds J-Zone continuing his redefinition. Gone are the odes to dumping your girl before Valentine’s Day to avoid copping a gift or keeping a boombox on the passenger seat, replaced with aging in hip-hop culture, hipsters, and race. With his signature chops as well as live drums, a new skill Zone has recently honed, the music is just as dope, especially because it’s about where he’s at now and not a reproduction of what he’s already given us in celebrated underground classics like Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes and Sick of Bein Rich. Over the course of two hours, J-Zone details his musical evolution, family life, his new groups The Du-Rites and Superblack, and much more. The dishes can wait.
Your new album Fish N Grits is out and you’ve been doing it yourself, like most of your work throughout your career. What’s the process been like for you this time and how has the process changed over the years? (more…)