Jesse Abraham – I Am Water (2013)
Artist: Jesse Abraham
Album: I Am Water
2. I Ain’t Sh!t – I’m The Sh!t
3. Back Off
4. Parallels ft. Emilio Rojas & TreZure EmpirE
5. You’re Not A Ghost Anymore
6. 1der 2der
7. Never Felt High Til Now ft. Nitty Scott, MC
8. The Scene
9. I’ve Tried ft. Chino XL
10. Brush Your Teeth
11. Gottdamn Superhero Penguin
13. Hi, Heaven
14. Die Holding Hands
Jesse Abraham is a model of convention. Ok. I hate to start off with a blatant lie but I felt the need to check to see if you really know who Abraham is. If you had checked our previous review of Abrhams’ Bars & NoBull, you would understand that he is the anti-thesis of conventions. Think of the most standard rhyme schemes and ideas and then toss those ideas from your mind as you begin to partake in I Am Water.
I Am Water is more polished then his previous releases with a more mature sound and production but that still never overshadows from the innovation that Abraham weaves on the mic.
I Ain’t Sh!t – I’m The Sh!t is a single that was previously given the video treatment and shared here a couple of months ago. The production starts off with heavy synth and then quickly disengages into more sporadic tones. Abraham then spits organized chaos in all different directions as he constantly gives himself distinction ala his third verse on the cut:
It’s type strange that anybody listens / I’m forever grateful for a moment of your attention / I’m sitting on the subway, it’s my train of thought / A token of my appreciation is all you really bought / When you cop the song or something / there’s something wrong or something / They told me years ago, Jesse, man, you’re on to something / I’m buzzing? / You’re buggin’ / Just because your cousin’s husband liked my album don’t mean nothing / May be it does? / It doesn’t / That ain’t the voice of haters / Y’all go ahead with that / You brag about your haters like it’s an impressive stat / Man you ain’t being hated cuz your innovative jack / If you get so much hate maybe your shit’s just wack?…
I think it’s impressive when an emcee can carry on a conversation with himself. But maybe that’s just me. But really this is a perfect segue into the next track of discussion, Back Off. The world is full of doubters, nit-pickers, and over-analyzers. And if you fit one of these categories, this song goes out to you. Again, Abraham uses the unique style of rhyme in which he plays the accuser and the accused and I think it will be best to let him tell it through his second verse:
Jesse you got money and you’re from Manhattan / You’re probably just a yuppy wants to try his hand at rappin’ / Jump off the bandwagon /You’re fake, a disgrace / Whatcha you know about the struggle? /
Alright..listen up shitface… / First off, life ain’t about the surface, bout what’s underneath / Second, take a second, learn about me, before you suck your teeth / Yeah, I got dough / Quality Delgado / I work for all my guap though / Oh my God bro..back off!!!!
This song really is indicative of Jesse’s persona. He’s evidently used to be dissuaded and discouraged and just wants the nay sayers to back off and let him do his thing.
Another vibrant track off of the album is The Scene in which Abraham paints the picture of what it’s like for an emcee to perform on stage. It’s not just the performance he’s talking about though, but also the ambiance. He speaks on the faces in the crowd and the different acts he’s encountered along the way. It simply is a uniquely worded way to describe ‘the scene’ that Abraham is familiar with.
Will everyone wind up being a Jesse Abraham fan after listening to I Am Water? No probably not. I could issue cliches like “the world’s not ready” or “he’s ahead of his time” but the truth lies in the fact that people want to label him this or that and you simply can’t. Sure he could annihilate the ABAB rhyme scheme, but where’s the fun in that and how many times has that been done before? Abraham is articulating something different with this album and he’s doing it with polish and bravado. I say polish because the quality of the music is top notch. He brought in some great guests and superior producers so the sound is that much better. I say bravado because his confidence in his abilities seems to have grown since 2010 and that shows in his flow and cadence. The aforementioned and the fact Abraham possesses one of the more unique personalities in indie hip hop ensure fans of a fantastic listen. Bet.