Jibbs Feat. Jibbs
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You won't want to do that here. Jibbs hops into a nasty leadoff track groove with all the impatience of a 16-year-old. After all, he is one. "Yeah Boii" rides a shiny plastic synth sample that loosely mimes the Rocky score (not coincidentally, Jibbs is introduced as though he's a boxer). This is underlined by the brand of skippy drumkit that's been famously St. Louis, at least since Nelly. And then there's Jibbs himself. The young MC's rat-a-tat flows are blissfully brash. He raps about Lamborghinis and Hummers -- "The cars is plush/ Ain't you that big kid with that big boy truck?" -- as only a young man with a learner's permit can.
"Boii" is a hugely endearing track; that it doesn't even rank among the record's trio of singles is a testament to the strength of Jibbs Featuring Jibbs. Certainly, it's hard to argue with the nomination of "Chain Hang Low" for top billing. The song recasts an age-old playground rhyme as a singsong-y celebration of bling. It's a clever riff on Jibbs's youth and an announcement that he's growing up: henceforth, 24 carats will be the standard. And it's a further echo of Nelly, whose 2000 track "Country Grammar" also found inspiration near the tire-swing.
Taking the opposite tack is "King Kong." If "Chain" finds the young prizefighter delivering tight body blows, "King" is a roundhouse right. A massive, deliberate beat marks time with explosions, and Jibbs's deep-voiced duet with Chamillionaire serves as a call to arms.
Not that being a fighter prevents our man from being a lover. "Go Too Far" summons Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls, who whispers sexily next to our crooning Casanova. And while many romantic interludes on hip-hop records hedge their bets, Jibbs doesn't feel the need: the song's gentle beats and seductive chats edge towards full-on R&B.
Though the hired help does help on these tracks, one of the most appealing features of the album is that it's pretty much exactly what it says: "Jibbs featuring Jibbs." Just as he avoids collecting a glut of ego-stroking shout-outs, Jibbs also doesn't clog his record with cameos. That's two ways a good thing. First, it shows confidence from the youngster. Better yet, it lets us really hear him, which, after all, is why we bought his record.