On the Record: Review of ‘Jack of All Trades’ by Chevin Meadows November 19th, 2018 by Kyle Cochrun Chevin Meadows’ Jack of All Trades mixtape is a hip-hop sampler dish showcasing the rapper’s lyricism over beats with all sorts of different flavors. Here’s a track-by-track taste test so that you can pick out what flavors agree best with your palate: 1. “Quarter Life Crisis” Beats: Heavy on spliced-up, honeydew samples of a female soul singer and reminiscent of early ‘90s boom-bap beats à la DJ Premier. Rhymes: Chevin sips sangria and stresses over whether he is on track to succeed in achieving his dreams of being a well-respected rhyme-sayer. He spits his life, but people compare him to J. Cole because they don’t know what’s up. He concludes that his flow is heaven-sent and that he is a lyrical genius. Plus he rocks fly Uggs. It seems that life will be all right after all. 2. “So Easy” Beats: Warren G and Dr. Dre on a cruise at sundown in a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Like a passionfruit smoothie spiked with Hennessy. Rhymes: “Be smooth with it,” “flow with the vibe,” “keep it cool” and let Jovan Wilder sing the chorus with extra-sweet harmonizing. This one’s for the radio. 3. “Dancin With Her Demons” Beats: Downtempo tang. Stripped down and featuring a tasty keyboard pitch-bend. Rhymes: Girls will mess you up. Ask Chevin’s uncle and Bell Biv DeVoe. 4. “LA Dreamin” Beats: Blueberry-vanilla keyboard tones resembling dim jazz club lighting. That snare drum must be sampled from Lou Donaldson’s cooling-back jazz cover of “It’s Your Thing.” Rhymes: None. It’s an instrumental, probably designed for late-night cruise cyphers. The beat is head-nod-able but repetitive, lacking the flourishes and variants that might deem it worthy of being three minutes long. A mid-mixtape instrumental should be a producer’s showcase, not a by-the-numbers beat that makes the lack of lyrics feel like an absence. 5. “Everything Is Everything” Beats: Chilled neo-soul peanut-buttery smoothness with lite hyphy undertones. Rhymes: In this song dedicated to two deceased aunts, Chevin offers subtle vocal inflections and lines about taking advantage of life while it lasts: “Thinking one day you’ll be happy / You just marking the move-in date / Just to find out you gotta make it within your space.” 6. “Rebels Chant” Beats: The snares snap, but the fake orchestral strings build to a melody reminiscent of an action film’s car-chase sequence. They offset the track’s flavor like cheap sweetener. Rhymes: This one’s the battle-rap. Chevin throws verbal shots at wannabe, no-talent rappers. A mic-drop worthy final line: “Y’all flows couldn’t make the team / Now go on and wash them jerseys.” Can you taste the sweat stains? 7. “Self Reflect” Beats: Too thick to sip through a straw. Layered with antioxidant-rich drums, sustained piano, an angelic chorus harmonizing around back and baby-scratching on the downbeat. Rhymes: How fresh is Chevin Meadows? “Superfly meets iceberg.” Jack of All Trades proves that Chevin Meadows can get down on the mic over an array of hip-hop flavors. If there’s an LP in his future, it’s unclear whether he’s better suited to pick one and refine a niche or keep branching out, covering an even wider taste range. For now, keep the appetite whetted. Kyle Cochrun is a writer from Akron, Ohio who is currently enrolled in the NEOMFA program for creative writing. Tell your friends:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.