Detroit native rapper ZotheJerk (previously signed to Proof of D12‘s Ironfist label) and Winnipeg producer Frost Gamble first collaborated on ‘Muscle Shoals’, a soundtrack for a currently unreleased documentary on the life of soul legend Luther Ingram. Their new collaboration ‘Black Beach’ addresses issues of oppression, injustice and police brutality whilst also touching on the importance of positive parental role models. The album has a host of features including Slaughterhouse frontman KXNG Crooked, Brand Nubian’s Sadat-X, Boldy James, Guilty Simpson and Coko Buttaflie amongst others.
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After the album initially gets underway with the short intro track ‘Welcome To Black Beach’ which introduces the overarching theme of the struggle of the black community in America, it could be said the album doesn’t really pick up steam until the fourth track. On the catchy ‘If’ (featuring Boldy James), Zo raps well over a jaunty beat with a smooth flow about what could be – assisted by the tongue in cheek hook delivered by Boldy James:
“If, If was a fifth we’d be all fucked up”
The soulful ‘Drunk Roses’ has a fantastic feature from the relatively unknown Coko Buttaflie. Her slightly scratchy yet strong voice belts out the chorus with such passion and force that showcases her obvious talent.
While the somber and soulful ‘Loyal victims’ (featuring Dustin Davie and Eveready) where Zo examines police brutality and the charming ‘Keep Me Safe’ get an honourable mention (“Fathers, father your sons, teach ’em to be men”) – the stand out track on ‘Black Beach’ has to go to ‘Risk Vs. Reward’ featuring Sadat-X. With smooth production and Zothejerk going his hardest before a head-turning feature from Sadat-X, it’s definitely a rewarding track.
‘Black Beach’ is out now via 22 Entertainment