Juan Deuce – No Sweat (2012)
Artist: Juan Deuce
Album: No Sweat
1. The Draft
2. Right On
3. People (ft. Romen Rok)
4. Falling Down
5. .38 Special
6. Larry Sellers
7. Left You
10. Menahan (ft. Jaysonic)
12. Show Me Love (ft. Jon Hope)
15. Jimmy Buffett
18. Clay On Words
Juan Deuce is not for the faint of heart. If you have a short memory span and don’t like well-woven wordplay he might not be for you. Throughout No Sweat, Juan Deuce takes concepts and ideas that don’t ordinarily blend and makes hip hop magic. In addition to that, this album is produced by some of my favorite producers in the business with the likes of Falside, The Audible Doctor, and J57 making contributions.
I’ve talked about the track, People, produced by Falside previously, so I won’t try and beat the dead horse. But that track is still one of the standouts on this project with Romen Rok and Juan Deuce trading verses over yet another premium production concocted by Falside. This track serves up the perfect example of the chemistry between Falside and Deuce found up and down this album.
The next track, Falling Down, catches me by surprise because while I am not well versed on Fonzi Wells’ production credits, he provides, for me, the best production on this project. Wells and Deuce take pride in giving you a wild ride both musically and lyrically. The production has a lot of nuances to it. It starts off uptempo with multiple layers and then gets stripped down at points, making it very entertaining. Deuce then crafts verse ala:
…throw some barbed wire on some bar bells / That’s a sharp lift / We bleed sweat showing off the heart-less / Call the fire fighter cuz you’re fucking with some arsonists / Dearly departed parking em where the marsh is / Driving wicked committed to leave you car sick / We we want the carriage, you rabbits are after parsnips
He has a unique way of juxtaposing the English language. His wordplay catches you off guard and leaves you attempting to catch up to his thoughts.
After that verbal onslaught, The Audible Doctor tones it down a little bit on .38 Special. This song has a very ethereal and ambient vibe to it. That is until at the end where he lends some scathing scratches that introduce a Slick Rick sample to the joint. But no matter the vibe of the track, Juan Deuce is going to introduce his style to the mix.
In addition to dope full length songs, several times Deuce just rocks over a minute-plus track just to show case his abilities. Take for instance the Falside produced, Larry Norris. It’s short but it damn sure has some verve. Falside brings in the drums and the synth bass and from there it’s all over.
This is a shakedown! Give me what you got / Lets thicken the plot / Pop! / Goes a criminal cop / Something like a young Chuck Manson / Bag a Marilyn because I’m handsome / Got her in the back of the caravan / Rap for the ransom / Hit me on the jack with the math for an answer / I’m a romantic / Sittin’ like a Chancellor /Ants want to box this one man Tarantula
Admittedly, Juan Deuce is an artist that I originally had a hard time getting into. He was perplexing. He wasn’t dropping multi-syllables but his word arrangement threw me off. But what once sounded like a jumble of words and phrases soon became genius to me. I was the one, who in the end felt dim for not getting the first time around. So while you have an album that is loaded with great producers, you are also introduced to a lyricism that is both witty and sharp, and…rare. So enjoy the ride because my feeling is that, No Sweat is just the lit match to the fire that he is about to start…