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Beautiful And Brutal Yard Review: Jhus is Multifaceted and full frontal, and he doesn’t care.

By Calista N. Davis.

After the release of his acclaimed sophomore album ‘Big Conspiracy‘ in 2020, Jhus took a break from the music scene- although he occasionally made guest appearances- Burna Boy’s ‘Love, Damini‘ album’ (Cloak & Dagger).

However, his three year hiatus from music heightened the demand for a new project. Thankfully, on the 14th of July 2023, J.hus released his third studio album – “Beautiful and Brutal Yard (B.A.B.Y)”.

The LP is a nineteen track lengthy project that includes an array of talented guest acts such as Drake, Burna Boy, Jorja Smith, Popcaan and several artists. For musical production talents, J.hus beckoned on the skills of the likes of P2J, E.Y., Fumes beats and The Elements, Levi Lennox, Oi, TSB – the latter of whom was in charge of the oeuvre’s executive productions.

On the album, Jhus taps into West African Afrobeats, and Afro Swing: a fusion of Afrobeat, Caribbean dancehall music, and UK Drill music. “Beautiful and Brutal Yard” gives listeners a deep insight into the multifaceted ethos to Jhus’ life.

On the Beautiful side, Hus flexes his storytelling muscles by explicitly describing his bedroom desires and the physical features of the kind of woman he adores. Bursting with emotions, he shares his vulnerable and romantic side with his listeners.

However, on the Brutal side, Juju doesn’t smile. He’s more aggressive, defensive, and violent. He takes pride, through his cryptic lyrics in eliminating, without hesitation, any one he suspects to be an enemy.

The Breakdown in full:

Intro (THE GOAT): The intro of the record comes in with soothing and vibrant strings with woodwind instruments to match. Jhus gives a brief yet apt summary of the challenges he’s been through, ranging
from childhood trauma, to his stint in prison, to religion, music, and gangster codes.

Massacre: Juju further weighs listeners in through a riveting opening verse. He paints a view of someone that shouldn’t be messed with : “ them talk greaze, it won’t take long to make him disappear.”
Additionally, he speaks about his rich lifestyle and in the second verse, J.Hus quickly let us know his romantic side even while keeping his gangster stance.

Who Told You ft Drake: ‘Who Told You’ ignites pop star Hus as he flows over easy thumping sonics. The Gambian-British rapper doesn’t journey alone, he enlists the help of Drake. Without a doubt, Who Told You has all the potentials of an anthem guaranteed to keep music listeners on their feet.

Militerian ft Naira Marley: Naira Marley’s lazy style of rapping seems to blend seamlessly with the calm Afrobeats instrumentals. Militerian is a track that pays homage to the African grassroots of both British
rappers. Even Jhus opens the first verse with “they know we are African Badman.” Naira Marley in his usual elements raps about women, their bodies & sex.

Palm Tree: Jhus on this track shares his sexual and physical attraction to a girl who is a “fortune teller & palm reader.” This song is particularly vibrant because it sways your imagination to a beach setting with tall coconut trees giving you a sight of calm beach waves.

Nice Body ft Jorja Smith: Jhus narrates past and toxic relationships with this rendition. He now wishes to amend his ways and look
beyond the superficial. Jhus makes listeners understand that physical features are great but mental attraction creates an essential balance. Jorja Smith is well, Jorja Smith- flawless and all.

Masculine ft Burna Boy: What’s a Jhus album without an Odogwu feature? The bounce of this song gives summer vibes.

Alien Girl: This track has Hus describing his universal woman – “alien girl” in a magical and imaginary way.

Fresh Water/Safa Kara: This track is split into two parts. The first – “Fresh Water”- Jhus intensely describes his utmost love for a lady’s fandango and how he enjoys devouring it “as long as it tastes like
fresh water.” With the use of pun, he vividly describes how he likes to be aroused. The second part of the song – “Safa Kara” – comes in with Jhus’ voice, this time, calmly describing his bedroom experience with a lady. Hus is a man that likes to take charge both outside and inside. A sexual kink of Hus is to “punish the girl for misbehaving.” A typical trait of a BDSM fanatic.

My Baby: This track brings out the soft and vulnerable side of a “Bad Man” in love. Here, Jhus sweetly sings about being deeply smitten by a “fatty” and “batty” girl after promising himself that he “wouldn’t wife a girl again.”

Problem Fixer : This track starts with Jhus calmly saying “Hustla baby.” Hus does not condone copy- cats because he thinks that “it’s not a good mixture”. As such, he believes that the best way to
eliminate such people is to “rub man out the picture.”

Killy ft Popcaan: This collaborative track with Jamaica finest dancehall artist – Popcaan – dives into the gang realm. This song solidifies Jhus’s position as the leader of his notorious knife gang. Here, Juju let us know that he’s surrounded by trustworthy people so if he needs to carry out an operation, “don’t have to kill him, let my killy kill him.” Popcaan’s distinctive vocal soothes the energy of the afro-swing song. His lyrics infers that he belongs to a violent gang, as he highlights popular mafia kings – “El Chapo”
and “El Gringo.”

It’s Crazy: “It’s Crazy” is the lead single off the album and was the first official release since his last album “Big Conspiracy.” The theme of this particular song is aggressive, evil, and devious. He violently
spits threatening bars warning his opps that he’s got “devil and demon”. “Murder gives me a boner” is Jhus’s way of letting us know how orgasmic it is to execute an enemy. The aggressive drill beat is the perfect instrumental to convey Hus’s warning.

Come Gully Bun (Gambian President) ft Boss Belly: Hus infuses Wolof language – mostly spoken by the Wolof people of Gambia – in the intro and chorus of the song. Boss Belly shares the same language with Hus as he, in his verse, hints us with some Wolof bars. The instrumental gives a breezy grime energy coupled with subtle hip-hop drums produced by TSB.

Play Chess: The closing track of the album. Jhus intimately describes the euphoric feeling he derives from doing music as “mental and spiritual orgasm” and because he enjoys this intense feeling from
making music, he’d continue to do it with “more passion.” He gives a shoutout to his musical influencers – Michael Jackson & 50 cent. The reward for his strategic winnings has led him to creating
“generational wealth” and given him the capacity to put his day-ones on. The Afroswing beat infused with the sweet sensational saxophone sound was produced by grammy award winning producer P2J.

To wrap up, B.A.B.Y is quite an album. It followed the theme through which I particularly appreciate as most albums do not. Also, the quality of the album is great. Kudos to everyone involved.

Rating: 7.5/10

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