Written By: Michelle Doering
Originality: (4.5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5.0 / 5) Lyrics: (4.5 / 5) Production: (3.0 / 5) Average: (4.3 / 5)
Attention all soccer moms who have ever complained about rap music being meaningless, violent, or disrespectful toward women; may I present to you, The Blu Janes.
This long-distance collaboration between indie rocker Kristen Ford and MC Genesis Blu strikes all the right chords and subverts all the right tropes, tackling gender inequality, racism, and politics with the grace and ease of good old fashioned hip-hop.
The five songs on this self-titled EP are catchy, authentic, and effortlessly feminist. Possibly my favorite thing about it is how the duo takes topics that are often loaded or heavy and presents them in a charming and upbeat sort of way. It’s not preaching at you. It’s not blaming you for the world’s problems. It’s just inviting you to be a part of the conversation, no matter your age, race, gender, sexuality, etc. This is music for everyone, but especially those who feel underrepresented or disenfranchised.
My one complaint is that I didn’t always like the production of the songs. Like, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Kristen Ford’s voice, but on a few of the songs the layering of her vocals and whatever distortion techniques were used just did not gel for me. It felt really disjointed from Genesis Blu’s perfect lyrical flow.
Moving into my favorite songs, I have to say, “Gemini” is truly spectacular. Even if the entire EP was just that song looped five times, I would still love it. Blu’s rapping is just so impeccable. She is beyond skilled at her craft. I cannot think of a single person who could replace her. Combine that with stellar guitar playing and Ford’s deep, smoky voice crooning about gender roles and you’ve already got a winner in my book, and that’s not even mentioning snappy foot-stomping beat.
I also really love “Raydeo” a throwback jam lamenting the lack of authenticity and connection in modern hip-hop music. It’s not only an incredibly vibrant song, but it also captures a lot of people’s’ concerns about the industry and provides the perfect counter. This is an artist’s anthem. It just makes you want to go out and make some really cool stuff.
Overall, this EP and this duo in general is definitely one you’re going to want to check out. They’re just cool, in a timeless and eternal way that will never go out of style. Don’t be a square and let yourself miss out on it.