J-Zone’s "Ign’ant" Mixtape Series

J-Zone has always been one of NYC hip-hop’s most under-appreciated musicians. The man came onto the scene in the late 90’s, carving a niche all his own which was defined through his sharp wit and undeniable talent for creating unassuming and completely original rap music. Never making commercial concessions, J-Zone albums have always been unabashedly ignorant, extremely hilarious, and impeccably produced. These qualities are what initially distinguished Zone from the flotsam and jetsam clogging up the New York underground, and have continued to distinguish him for a decade.

Over the past ten or so years, Zone has also proven to be extremely prolific. In addition to dropping five traditional “beats & rhymes” solo records, he’s released an instrumental concept soundtrack for a fake movie, three remix projects, a duo album with Celph Titled, seven instrumental compilations, and most recently, a concept record themed around the St. Ides malt liquor radio ads from the early nineties. That’s not even touching his impressive production clientele, which includes Biz Markie, Tame One, Akinyele, and MF Grimm.

As stated above, Zone has always shown a penchant for the ignorant, illustrated through songs like “Ho Kung Fu!” and “Jailbait Jennifer.” According to Zone himself, the influence came from a variety of places:

“I grew up on Black Comedy albums. Rudy Ray Moore, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, LaWanda Page, Blowfly, Redd Foxx. My family had all that shit and I used to make tapes of ’em and play em in school for my friends. That foul, funny and low budget element of those records was very prevalent in a lot of Southern and West Coast rap and I loved it. All the Rap-A-Lot shit, 2 Live Crew, Bustdown, Poison Clan, NWA, JCD & The Dawg Lb….Those records were like hip hop versions of those comedy albums. But I also was a fan of New York stuff because I was a funk fan and record collector and the samples drew me in. So when I created my sound it was like a lighter version of the subject matter and vibe of the ignorant shit and the offbeat sampling of the classic NY shit.” – J-Zone, 2007

In 2003, J-Zone decided to pay homage to those records and dropped the first volume of his “Ign’ant” mix series, with volume two released a year later. Nearly sixty combined tracks of the most unapologetic and completely misogynistic, violent, and just plain offensive rap music known to man. A pre-No Limit Master P, Poison Clan, and Willie D all make appearances alongside lesser-known regional talents like Ron C, X-Raided, and Disco Rick & The Dogs. Trust, if C. Delores Tucker had heard these mixes she probably would have dropped dead instantly. The first volume (released through the Black Jesus World imprint) has been out of print for a few years now, so good luck finding a physical copy. As far as the second volume is concerned, I’ve never seen it for sale, either online or in stores, so I would assume that it’s either a tour exclusive or a bonus disc for one of Zone’s solo efforts.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to clear out a party, offend your neighbors, or are just plain having a bad day look no further than these two mixes. Trust me, the music more than speaks for itself; it straight knocks. Burn these two mixes for play in the Protege and become a connoisseur of the ign’ant.

– Echo Leader

Tags: , , , ,