It’s 2013 and a kid from Englewood, NJ has almost 2 million followers on Vine, all ending with the hash tag #TeamPrime. He’s funny as hell and even does some dope freestyles every now and then. Fast-forward to 2017 and that kid, Jabbar Hakeem drops his debut EP “April 7th”. Paying homage to his birthday Hakeem gives us a 7-track taste of what he’s obviously born to do.
Hakeem starts off with the mandatory “I’m here and here to stay” tracks with “Successful” and “Counted me Out”. If you’re looking for the traditional, New Jersey textbook lyricism, you might not find it here. But don’t get discouraged. Hakeem’s style is fun, light, and even positive. That’s not to take away from his rhyming skills, but this guy is for the young people, he doesn’t need metaphors and extensive wordplay to get his point across.
Switching into party mode with his breakout single “Special Delivery”, the 23 year old might have a banger on his hands. The beat drop and slight nod to the G.Dep classic by the same name, is sure to make you do even the smallest rendition of the Harlem shake, no matter how hard you try to fight it. Although “Special Delivery” is the chosen single, it’s clear the sleeper hit of the project is “Hennessey”, which is undeniably the pre-game song for the summer.
The project comes to a close with “Aroma” and “Spend the Night.” With lines like “It’s another level when I’m on ya, I love the smell of your aroma” the slower tracks seem a little lackluster and rushed compared to the rest of the EP, but they are needed to provide a full view of Hakeem’s versatility.
Overall “April 7th “ was a pretty good effort from Jabbar Hakeem, he isn’t going to drag you down with heavy lyrics and unnecessary words. He’s just looking to find his place in the fun era of hip-hop and simply wants to make you feel good…almost like its your birthday.