Whilst firmly rooted in the thriving UK Grime scene, J Hus has a sound that’s always set him apart from the pack. Known for combining groove-laden Afro Beat and Dancehall with early noughties Hip-Hop; Hus parades his signature sound triumphantly on debut album ‘Common Sense’.
From the get go, opener and title track ‘Common Sense’s combination of swinging drums, energetic organs and luscious strings likens it to a London take on Jay Z’s ‘Heart of the City’; it’s an instant classic, and is guaranteed to go down a storm at J Hus shows from Stratford to Stoke-on-Trent. Previous single ‘Did You See’ is already there. Undeniably infectious, It’ll have you singing – “Did you see what I’ve done, came in a black benz left in a white one” so many times that you’ll forget you don’t actually have a Mercedes, never mind two of them in different colours.
Throughout ‘Common Sense’ J Hus does a good job of drawing from different influences to keep things sounding varied. ‘Bouff Daddy’, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Mash Up’ take things back to dancehall basics; ‘Clartin’ and ‘Like Your Style’ explore the heavier and lighter tones of rap whereas ‘Good Time’ featuring Burna Boy sounds like an outtake from the latest Craig David album.
17 tracks for a debut is certainly a little excessive and naturally there’s quite a bit of fat that could be trimmed from the release. For the most part though, J Hus does a great job of switching things up and keeping the energy high.
All-in-all, the debut offering from this Stratford word-smith is packed full of catchy hooks, witty lyrics and tight and tasteful production, dispelling any opinion denouncing his potential to reach the same lofty chart heights as peers such as ‘Stormzy’ or ‘Skepta’. If you’ve any common sense at all, you’ll listen to it and love it.
‘Common Sense’ is out now via Black Butter Records