“I want the world to know that there can be more than one successful female hip-hop artist. I also want people to realize they can be themselves and not copy everything you see.” –J. Anise
A fresh EP came by my desk this week, courtesy of LA-femcee J. Anise. She’s got the look, the pen game, and the music to back it all up; needless to say after a few listens I was thoroughly impressed. I’ll back up a bit. Meet J. Anise, straight out of Saginaw, Michigan. She dropped her first mixtape Lamborghini Livin: The Take Off back in 2011, so she’s been going hard for a while now. The EP in question, Higher Than Most 2, actually comes on the heels of the Higher Than Most 2 Mixtape which dropped about a month ago via SoundCloud. That project had fifteen joints (which includes freestyles). That mixtape was a follow-up to the original Higher Than Most. Basically, what I’m getting at is that she has LOTS of material out there, and it’s all quality. She has bars, and her obvious work ethic makes her worthy of any and all praise she’s [most likely] going to get in this game.
Enough buttering her up for some possible exclusives [*cough cough] let’s delve into the EP. It’s six tracks long, so a relatively easy listen without making a big time commitment. I’ll note that before I delved into her catalog, I started with her EP, so my initial thoughts didn’t reflect any of her past material. To be very frank, I wasn’t blown away initially. The first two tracks “All About My Cash” and “Lit” are ok, but nothing out of the ordinary in either content or production. They are cool, just not anything special. So when I started “Basic,” I didn’t have the bar that high. This is where I began to get her as an artist; she separates herself from ‘basic chicks,’ who not only spend time/effort working out their Twitter fingers but also don’t know their true worth aside from a shallow existence. “Confidence is sexy, and I come from all angle.” Her confidence shines through, and by the end of the track I had a better idea of what made her different from a good portion of forgettable female artists forced into my eardrums. The three songs that followed were crazy. “Enough” and “Be Like That” seem like they have some relation regarding the catalyst/subject matter — the latter being a personal message. Would love to hear the real story behind that one. If I had to package the EP with an overall theme, it seems like over the course of the project’s creation (or in recent history) she’s trimmed the (metaphorical) fat from her circle and life. It seems as though she’s taken considerable effort to expel any negativity from her circumference in favor more positive blessings that her career seems to be affording her. “Sweet Dreams” comes across as a final middle finger to all the doubters and supposed ride or dies that for whatever reason decided they didn’t fully support her vision and journey.
Bottom line, J. Anise. I also want to — before I end this — bring up her latest single dropped less than 24 hours ago. The immediate, and well-timed, “Guard My Body,” was made in response to the senseless police violence that’s taken place this week. Worth a listen. Add the Higher Than Most 2 EP to your weekend playlist, and put this lady on your playlist; you heard it here!