July 08, 2016

Jean Grae & 9th Wonder "Jeanius" (2008)

"I remember first hearing a leaked version of 'Jeanius' back in 2003 and thinking DAMN this is definitely one of the iller female MC's I've heard in a while. I really recognized the voice and couldn't put my finger on where I'd heard it before. It was only later I came to realize Tsidi Ibrahim went under the name What? What? and had a rock solid discography dating back to the mid-90's where she put in work with the group Natural Resource and got busy on a bunch of ill shit. If you're still sleeping, give your f#cking head a shake." - The Find Mag. I remember the leaked version quite well, too. In fact, I still listen to it often. I also remember the in-store at Fat Beats and the artwork inspired by Das EFX, Black Sheep, Raekwon and Public Enemy. Jean's mind inspires me through her wit, her humor, creativity and natural skill on so many fronts. It's impossible to box her in, and yet I'm certain fans and media alike try their best to do it, whether they know it or not. Despite being winter, it was as hot as the Knitting Factory basement in Fat Beats the night of Jean Grae & 9th Wonder's Jeanius in-store. Talib Kweli was in the building. Jean had made him a to-go plate of chicken and rice (or something similar); he sat at the counter and enjoyed it as fans packed into the store looking for copies of the album, a live performance and autographs from both Jean and 9th. TCM even sneaked an interview on the low, while others waited impatiently, lol. Jean signed my copy "We still need these!," as if my copy of the album was the right place to take a dump on Fat Beats... I respected it though, lol. They were, however, kind enough to give me a shout-out that made working their in-store and tolerating the customers all the worth it... you can peep that HERE. I'm thankful I've had numerous opportunities to tell Jean directly how her music has touched me (especially "Fade Out"), and I'm also glad she continues to release music, videos, a web-series, and so much more. My favorite cuts off Jeanius are "8," "Don't Rush Me," "My Story" and "Love Thirst." The album isn't currently available through streaming platforms, so I hope you cop'd one of the physicals! You can see my footage from the in-store at Fat Beats HERE, HERE, and HERE.