Why Johnny Spanish’s “The Lip” Is The Best Thing I’ve Heard In A While.
Let’s be real: there are way too many artists out there. Everybody and their grandmother is a singer, rapper, and producer, and normally, their hype overshadows their talent.The problem is, there’s too many people claiming to be worth your time, and it makes it hard to find those who deserve a listen. So I hope Johnny Spanish understands why I didn’t respond to his e-mails regarding his “new album” he dropped on 4.20.10.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to listen to it. It’s just that if everybody tells you their music is worth your time, how do you discern what actually is? Can you? You can go the route everybody else goes and co-sign whatever the big blogs post, but chances are, that blogger didn’t go through everything and decide what was worth while. It was more like, first come-first serve, or whatever they had time to get through. And that’s not shade at the bloggers, because it’s a tough position. A catch-22 if you will; I don’t have the time to go into that now, but understand that much.
Back to Johnny. We talked a few times via e-mail/Twitter, and I really liked the video for first single, “Shining,” (caught it on The Smoking Section, so shout out to those guys) produced by Asian-American producer CHOPS (perhaps best known for his productions on Jeezy‘s The Inspiration, Bun B‘s II Trill, and Chamillionaire‘s Ultimate Victory). At the time, I wasn’t really blogging music, and I didn’t really know what to do besides say “Yeah, that joint is hot man.” I wasn’t in much of a position to do much with the music, and with a 9-to-5 that isn’t blogging, there’s no incentive to really pass it around in my free time. I never really responded to his subsequent e-mails and tweets; I’m assuming this frustrated the man, because he had an engaged fan, and then I kind of went AWOL on him. So he sent me an e-mail voicing this frustration. I responded saying essentially what I said in this paragraph, just a little longer, and with a few more colloquial phrases, like “Man,” “Dude,” and “You feel me?” He hit me back and said he understood my position, and that it was frustrating to know that he’s talented, yet he couldn’t showcase his talent because the blogs weren’t trying to help him out.
It’s hard to break the market, especially if you’re just a guy who nobody’s really heard from Louisville, Kentucky. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough ears on his project, and that goes back to what I said in the beginning of this post, which is that it’s just hard to get through the cracks and find your way to influential people who can spread the good word. So I feel great when I find stuff like this, because I know that I have a network of people that will listen to me if I say, “Give this Johnny Spanish guy a chance.” So that’s what I’m doing in all this text. I won’t even say anymore, I’ll let Johnny take it from here. Taken from the e-mail that he sent me regarding his free album:
“After putting in a lot of hard work, time, and money my first all-original album, “THE LIP” is finally here. With production by CHOPS, myself, a couple close Louisville producers J-Burnz and SparkOne, DJA of Mad Decent and a lone production by Houston native Buddha Jape it’s a definite full-length LP. One which I’m giving away for FREE nonetheless. The album includes twelve tracks and two bonus joints which include “Shining” (Remix) ft. Nappy Roots and a CHOPS remix of my song “Lovely” ft. Rye Rye. CHOPS also did the final mixes
for each track on the album.
I decided to call the album “THE LIP” as an ode to The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali, who hails from Louisville, Kentucky, the city where I come from and which I hope to bring a new light to with this album. The Lip was also the name I used briefly before going by Johnny Spanish and since no one will become the voice of my city I have taken it upon myself to do so therefore becoming “THE LIP.”
I hope that everyone enjoys the music.”
Beautifully stated. And even more beautifully stated (and ridiculously accurate) is the one-line sentence written on TSS about what you’re about to experience after downloading the mixtape: “This babyfaced Kentucky thoroughbred emcee seamlessly weaves between soulful singing and effervescent emceeing with ease.”
I’ve done my job. Now do yours and press play on the samples below. If you’re pursuaded by everything I’ve written, then download the tape.
DOWNLOAD: Johnny Spanish – The Lip [Mixtape]
BONUS! Check his video below for his single “Shining,” and look out for the Nappy Roots-assisted remix on the mixtape.