Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Here on the Independent Spotlight, I get quite a bit of hip hop and club music across my desk each and every week. It’s one of the more inundated communities in the indie scene, and frankly, a very large chunk of it is best left buried in the recesses of the internet. With that style of music, artists often fall victim to stereotypical production and lyricism. On occasion, though, there are performers doing it right. CJ2Much is on his way toward doing that.
CJ2Much, a Louisville, Kentucky based artist, has released his latest studio endeavor, an album entitled ‘Club Feelin.’ The record, which maneuvers its way through club, R&B, and hip hop stylings, is a dozen tunes long. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be exploring half of the album through selections offered by CJ2Much.
‘2 Much,’ is one of the singles off the record that has garnered CJ2Much notable attention online. It does what it does very well: it’s an infectious, well produced single that would be perfect for the dance floor. Is the lyricism stereotypical? To a degree, yes. It doesn’t try anything drastic or different. CJ2Much’s voice is in fine form, though, and he handles himself well within the realm he occupies.
Similarly, ‘LIT’ finds its feet in providing a very danceable, anthemic atmosphere. It does, however, offer a more dynamic, layered production than ‘2 Much’ does. The album is further accented by a quality feature with Antonini on ‘Top Shelf.’ Antonini’s inclusion on that tune is superb, and he complements CJ2Much’s vocals perfectly.
One of the better club tracks, ‘It’s Going Down,’ has another feature, this time highlighting AyeTeeM. It’s another exhibition of CJ2Much picking the right collaborators, because AyeTeeM helps flesh out ‘It’s Going Down’ into the full track it is. With that said, the soulful, R&B-tinged nature of ‘Waterfall’ makes it the best of these six tracks. I’d love to see CJ2Much explore that musing further, perhaps in the vein of Frank Ocean or the like.
CJ2Much takes the mic to rap on ‘Do With It,’ offering some further diversity from his end. It’s a quality performance, and like the rest of the five tracks, the production matches CJ2Much very well. (This track was produced by Grits N Gravy.) Thus, is ‘Club Feelin’ an album worth picking up based on this selection of its songs?
For the most part, yes. CJ2Much has done what many indie artists try and fail to do: he’s put out a record of pop-tinged club and hip hop tracks that are ideal for the setting they’re designed for. Is any of the lyricism notable or poignant? No, absolutely not. Will these songs get people dancing? Surely. Hence, CJ2Much has succeeded in doing what he set out to do, and that’s worth lauding.