Boomkat Product Review:
J Rocc's second full-length is a love letter to Los Angeles, a patchworked hip-hop opus that broadcasts the Stones Throw mainstay's musical trajectory thru R&B, boogie, electro, funk and new wave.
Jason Jackson (aka J Rocc) owes his musical signature to Los Angeles: he credits his childhood riding in a car through Southern California in the 1980s as the inspiration for "Wonderful Letter", remembering flicking through stations on the car radio and finding the treasure trove of music that guided him to his later DJ career. To put it bluntly, it's a West Coast answer to Daniel Lopatin's Boston radio-inspired "Magic Oneohtrix Point Never".
J Rocc has rounded up a smart cast of collaborators too. The Egyptian Lover helps him recapture the electro era on 'Pajama Party', while Dilla collaborator Frank Nitt (of Frank n Dank) elevates the "Raw" version of 'Flawless' (Alchemist collaborator Budgie jumps in on the "Smoothed Out" take). Oxnard's Madlib/Guilty Simpson collaborator M.E.D. (fka Medaphoar) assists with the horizontal 'Love & Dope', and underrated renaissance man The Koreatown Oddity conjures tongue-twisters over dusted highlight 'The Changing World'.
Jackson spins "Wonderful Letter" into a coherent whole using his familiar MPC-gritted instrumentals to bridge each feature - and while he wanted it to feel like skipping around on an FM dial, it's far more coherent than that.