Song Review-Humility by Jai Swift (produced by Jai Swift)
The bay area is a wildly contradictory and silly place. Every track seems to have more guests than could fit into the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and somehow while everyone is featuring on everything, everyone is beefing with everyone else. So track lists are filled with friends of enemies or sometimes outright enemies doing songs together. It can be a lot to keep track of for a sensible person but you learn to love it (once you unlearn your common sense).
Jai Swift doesn’t seem to play by a lot of the bay area rules, his delivery is not Yukmouth or E-40 outrageous but contracted and straightforward. He has lots of guests that show up but he’s at his absolute best on tracks like this one. A simple piano plink stitched over a knocking baseline and that strange mixture of likeable humility and absolute confidence. This song comes from his mixtape Who is John Gault? and while I dream of a Swift tape that is him and only him I understand rappers are beholden to their crews. People who have been through everything with you and a verse or two doesn’t seem to be enough payback. It’s just awkward on some songs where we go from the muted cleverness of Jai to someone else bragging about being lightweight illiterate.
This song represents the best case scenario, strip all the other stuff away and just force a skilled MC (and producer) to do his thing. It’s the difference between a good mixtape with high points and a great mixtape.