jev.’s Debut Album “when angels cry.” Elevates His Status as a Threat in the Canadian Underground (Album Review)

jev. is a 24 year old underground MC from Ontario, Canada who initially made his mark at the beginning of 2021 by dropping the debut single “Jays”. Next winter saw the release of the debut EP The Color Grey. & eventually the follow-up LONERWRLD came last fall. He just delivered a couplet of singles a month ago & little did I know they were paired together in preparation for jev.’s full-length debut studio album.

“Alice” begins the LP with a soulful boom bap cut so the Congolese-Canadian up-&-comer can vow to show the weaknesses of anyone that tries to take shots at him whereas “The Art of War.” featuring Darion Harris takes the trap route with multiple switch-ups at one point sampling the iconic bell signifying the greatest WWE superstar ever The Undertaker continuing to drop hardcore lyricism. “Villains’ Theme” continues from there in the form of a heinous ode to those in the streets prior to the “FEEL$” interlude.

Meanwhile on “Famous.”, we have jev. heading for a symphonic trap direction instrumentally talking about a woman telling him that she wants the fame just before “Save a Spot for Me.”returns to the boom bap warning everyone to stop playing with him by the time he makes his way around the block again. “Wings in the Sky.” has this profound gospel flip throughout getting more personal topically, but then “Wipe My Tears.” featuring August Charles pushes the 2nd leg further jazzily providing optimism in the midst of heartbreak.

“Call Me Back.” featuring Raemi goes drumless for a hip hop/R&B crossover tackling the relatable theme of one’s partner not hitting you back up while “The Killer Shewolf.” sprinkles the pianos, kicks & snares back into the picture culminating in a homie of his getting popped. After the “Man on Fire” interlude, the penultimate song “Wonderland.” featuring Aero Austaire conjoins a rap rock track inspired by My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-era Kanye with a prominently melodic 2nd half & “The Samurai’s Monologue.” concludes when angels cry. by cooking up a playful trap joint putting the fear of God in people.

Few have summed jev.’s style up as a modern take on old school hip hop marrying the sample-based ethos of classics like the Wu-Tang Clan & Nas with the preternatural proficiency of new-school standouts like Kendrick Lamar as well as Saba or Smino, which I can definitely hear throughout the Ontarian’s debut. He balances east coast boom bap, trap, jazz rap, pop rap & on occasion R&B laying his tectonic flows down further pushing him as an underground artist with mainstream appeal.

Score: 8/10