May 26, 2015

Jemini The Gifted One "Scars and Pain" (HHC, April 1995)

"At 25, many rappers have had their time in the spotlight, hung up their mics and found a new career. But Jemini, an emcee from the age of 12, has only recently got a record deal - and he's putting all his years of experience into the project. To hear that Jemini has been waiting ten years to get signed will come as a surprise when you hear what he has to offer. A fluid and sparky delivery is accompanied by phat beats to kill for. Before his chance to drop plastic, the interim period has been a mixed one - switching between modeling, commercials, radio jingles, writing and dancing for several groups. Indeed he only grabbed his deal through a stroke of luck. A tape he made with Goldfinger - a fellow Brooklynite and mix deejay signed to Mercury with his crew, Full Metal Jacket - had made its way to the record company. "The A&R at Mercury heard a tape with four cats on it. And he dug me!" ... Like many others he cut his teeth on emcee battling, although he's keen to downplay its role. "It was just what was going down at the time. Right now it's like a rites of passage for a lot of young rappers. There's a misconception that freestyling is coming off the top of your head... Back in 1982, freestyle was just as simple as this, the bottom line was just handling your business in a freestyle atmosphere. You're not cutting a demo, not necessarily doing a show or cutting a record," he advises. "When jazz musicians get together to do a free-form jazz session, those jazz musicians are doing different riffs and notes they've practiced all along, but they get there they do it in a freestyle atmosphere... When you're freestyling, you can write rhymes, it's just that when it comes to your turn you are expected to be able to handle your business, you entertain people and they go away saying, 'He's dope'." #FreeOfStyle Cont'd below...

"With Brooklyn once more showing the hip-hop world the way, Jemini has struck at the right time ... and like all inhabitants of the borough, is quick to pay his dues. "Brooklyn is the epitome of keeping it real, and it don't get no realer than Brooklyn. Brooklyn is gritty, Brooklyn is hardcore, Brooklyn is survival of the fittest and Brooklyn is Jemini," he gushes. On tracks like "Can't Stop Rockin' (Tribute)." the title track "Scars and Pain" and "Funk Soul Sensation," Jemini introduces his twin personality. But it isn't no Redman-like schizophrenia, as he affirms. "One character is The Gifted One, the laidback, articulate, logical one. He's the one who wants to break it down with words, whereas The Funk Soul Sensation wants to break it down with adrenaline, with emotion, with the 'Raaaaaaa!'." And Jemini has his own recipe for success. "Use what you have in life, acknowledge what's going on around you and be able to think quick on your feet. But the most is that I feel you got to be able to read a lot - that's how you become familiar with words and phrases and be able to connect them all together." Sound advice from one still young but old in the ways of hip-hop." - Hip Hop Connection, 4/95.