I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average. In a weak, saturated status of the rap industry that has succumbed to pop-filled radio hits and mainstream artists that receive tremendous backing from ghostwriters, production labels, etc., John J has beaten them at their own game.
“Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, plays like a twenty-minute shot of adrenaline, as it reverberates transcendentally through the speakers. This is only amplified by presenting to listeners some of the catchiest instrumentation and largely breakneck, infectious and amazing flows the John J has ever assembled.
It helps too, to have Breana Marin on the hooks as she is a delight to listen to, both melodic and soulful. When “Last Love Letter” kicks in, after the introductory “The 4th Date”, it is not to be taken lightly. Instead it’s a signal to strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster ride of wordplay.
The four minute and four second sonic explosion that is “Crossfire” ft. Breana Marin showcases the same solid elements of strong rhyming over an electronic groove. The work features terrific, addictive and head-nodding production, plus the scintillating Ms. Marin on the vocals. I wanted to choose this as the Ep highlight, but couldn’t because of the subsequent track.
Just how do you choose the best track between this one, and “Never Good Enough ft. Breana Marin? It’s a tough call. This guitar strummed anthem continues John J’s fiery rhyming found throughout the entirety of this recording. It also contains another highly infectious refrain from Breana.
A special word of appreciation has to be said in favor of Breana Marin. Over the years I have heard hundreds of hook singers on singles, EP’s and Albums, many of them brilliant with extremely distinctive voices. Breana beats them all hands down. She currently has to be the best hook singer in the entire universe…and many galaxies beyond too.
Her secret is that her vocal deliveries encompass everything a hook would need to make any track become an ear-worm, yet at the same time her voice is subtle and eloquent enough to never encumber the track, or take over its ownership. It’s a fine line between being impressive and being overwhelming.
Breana Marin has fine-tuned her craft to perfection, and a talented and astute rapper like John J has fully grasped the potential of her art on his tracks, thus heightening his already incredible orchestrations. Such creates the wonderful formula of the emotional, vigorous and ear-catching tunes found within “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which stands as one of John J’s many signposts signaling his mastery of hip hop in all its facets.