Today marks the release of Jelani Blackman’s debut project ‘Unlimited Mixtape’. The West Londoner fully utilises the 12-track project to amplify his unique sound – a sound intricately weaving together grime, soul, and R&B influences through his sleek flow and captivating voice.
Underpinned by this absorbing flow, it’s inevitable that ‘Unlimited Mixtape’ will set the waves of Jelani’s musical talent in motion - its continuous, rhythmic pulse providing the waves with a dominant, far-reaching impact.
Listeners are plunged into the unrestricted beats of ‘Unlimited’ and ‘Secrets’ and the merciless, animated force of their powerful incline. Jelani’s rumbling voice adds to the mystery that these first two tracks generate. Previous releases have drawn attention to rappers’ impressive vocal range and ‘Unlimited Mixtape’ sets the personal bar even higher.
The inclining wave of the first two tracks buzz with an infectious energy that ripples through ‘Gorgeous’ featuring Jords, and ‘Trust’. As this wave spill over and flows into ‘Hello’, ‘Smile’ and ‘Burning’ the change in energy is no bad thing. Instead, Jelani’s wildly celebrated ability to effortlessly slide between rapping and singing is reflected in the fluctuation. An alluring beat is maintained as the thrilling power of the first few tracks seems to settle. This allure drags the attention to a calmer, conversational voice – but you should always be prepared for the enigmatic rise of a bass-heavy beat. It is an insane ebb and flow that is sure to grant Jelani Blackman with the recognition he truly deserves.
Jelani’s ability to give rise to this oscillation of sound throughout ‘Unlimited Mixtape’ perhaps mirrors the strange, unpredictable situations and emotions he has experienced in recent years. After all, this is a mixtape born out of the wildly uncertain pandemic. Each track varies – from heightened, sonic elements to calmer, more personal moments. They create parts of a whole body of work, offering various snapshots of Jelani’s life during these unfamiliar times. All the while, translating into familiar and relatable music.
‘Unlimited Mixtape’ showcases the versatility of Jelani Blackman. It is sure to initiate an exciting and prolific future for the unparalleled rapper and singer.
Words: Amelia Kelly
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