Ever since Hazard came out, there’s been a mystique under the surface of his music waiting to leap out into modern rap idiom. Sure, the hooks of his early hits, might bludgeon you with repetition and directness, but even back in those “Don Quixote” days, there were signs that these blatant choruses were merely the straightforward chops of an art that contained multitudes, not just quick-strike triplet assaults. Then, in a surprise move the Brooklyn rapper switched his name from Hazard to Jimmy Heights, explaining: “I just believed it was time to mature and find a name that suits and defines me. Hazard was the adolescent me, more so a gimmick. With Jimmy Heights, it’s all about growth and maturity.”
Jimmy Heights isn’t as inherently weird as Young Thug, as tortured as Future, or as outlaw-ish as Gucci Mane, but the chemistry and aura of his best music puts him in the same chimerical class. His latest single “Nakamura” is clearly the condensation point. Eclipsing his previous highs on “Black AmeriKKKa”, which has to be said, was a more serious work, Heights returns to the playful wordplay that is all the rage in current crossover blends of pop and hip-hop.
Beyond that surrounding evidence, this track is just flat-out catchier, more fun, and expansive than any project Jimmy Heights have ever released. Melody and spontaneity are used liberally throughout, rendering the Heights already-improved backing vocals and ad-libs even more breathtaking. The beat, once propulsive and jumpy to match Jimmy’s syllable-cramming, is now ebb and flow exciting, as if the rapper’s rhymes are cutting through waves on jet-skis.
All these intriguing elements isn’t just a façade, Heights rhymes are by and large tight as hell, and he never abandons his trademarked flow, while the hooks are even more thought out. Here you’re getting the best of Jimmy Heights’ performances, presented in a catchy, elegant, and stylized package. The mainstream has clearly inched closer to Heights with this release.
Jimmy Heights has pinpointed the elements of his style and skills that are crucial to modern rap and pop culture, regardless of region or genre, and for a good part of this track, he flawlessly flaunts them. “Nakamura” which also features the skills of Spec K, is a big step into the world of commercially-tinged tracks for an artist whose biggest previous successes were bound to mixtapes, and Heights will surely emerge with his brand stronger than ever now, as he works his way towards that world-stopping release that will ultimately launch his professional career.
The young emcee from Crown Heights, Brooklyn is currently working on a new mixtape called “Acrophobia”. The cue for the future comes from Jimmy Heights himself, disclosed in an interview some time back: “The best is yet to come. Train your mind to see positive in every situation.”