“Honey, are you fricking kidding me” is much more than a catchy signature song intro. It is an outraged howl towards the crooked chain of systematic oppression that prevails in the world. It is an appeal to the youthful generation in whose hands lies the tinder to sparkle up the fire of change and burn racism to the bone. This is the paramount matter that the LA-based artist JELEEL! has brought into the open in his latest album “Generation Z”, hoping to have his voice heard.
Like usual, it is clear that JELEEL! has spent quite some time in his musical laboratory and has come up with the most powerful bomb of all – that of his highly experimental voice and beat ornaments, in order to fight back the racial oppression with grace. The stretched and flawlessly autotuned vocals neatly yield his burning enthusiasm about his artistic and civil cause, especially in “Scream”. And while his previous album “Angel From Heaven” is an exploration of both his rising talent and evolving voice, “Generation Z” is a statement of his social slant and an etiquette of his unique sound.
The album features an amalgam of top-notch record producers, such as Connie, Zaro Vega, and Rick Remedy, who skillfully tie the album together. The most arresting surprises of all is JELEEL!’s collaboration with the Nigerian Alté artist Prettyboy D-O in “Sinner!”. This song could easily be classed as the manifesto of “Generation Z” with the lyrics “In the fight, Imma ride with a sinner/ one more time for the times they killed us”. And what better musical direction to take than to incorporate subtle Afrobeats vibes, in order to emanate the message of the track! A style that happens to be emblematic for Prettyboy D-O.
Other genres that we get a luscious taste of are rock, indie, and trap. “Hotshot!” has a really pleasant dancehall sound to it, while still keeping up with the seriousness of the album theme through the lyrics. JELEEL!’s genre-bending ability is yet another weapon of choice that the endowed singer-songwriter has added to his artistic armor. It definitely serves him a good purpose in drawing an accent to his talent amongst the highly saturated hip-hop scene.
Gen Z are the advanced millennials, the digital natives, and the progressive thinkers of the 21st century who believe in pro-racial and ethnical diversity. JELEEL! proudly embodies the characteristics of Gen Z and as such is well-equipped to become the next provocateur and instigator for a long-needed change, who inspires through music. His album “Generation Z” released on 3rd July 2020 is the first stepping stone for the artist towards making both his dream and that of the entirety of his tribe of awoken youths come true. What next?
Stream “GENERATION Z!” by JELEEL!:
Watch his most recent music video for “Red Light!”: