[REVIEW] Grime MC Jafro drops eclectic EP entitled “Peace, Lust & Sauce

  • Alex S

  • Sun 15th 2018

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Jafro

Although he’s been on the scene for a while, the first time Jafro really came into the frame for most outside of the midlands will have been as part of a Leicester based team on Redbull’s 2016 ‘Grime A Side’ tournament;  alongside other Leicester MCs Kamakaze, and Skeez. Although Leicester eventually lost in the final to Derby that year, (by a margin of 4% of the votes) Jafro’s bars and flows impressed on the road to the final.

More recently, Jafro did an impressive and ambitious Blackbox freestyle where he showcased some versatility unseen on his ‘Grime A Side’ outings; mixing harmonies and sung hooks in with his raps with exciting results.

It’s this more soulful side of Jafro that we see more of with his new EP ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’, highlighting that he’s not an artist to be pigeon-holed to just grime.

After setting the pace for the EP with the introductory “Okay : If Only”, the soft and soulful track “Friday” keeps the R&B vibes going with positive lyrics about trying escape gang lifestyle with your significant other.

Although “Friday” is good, you can’t help but feel Jafro does too much with the ending; where it could’ve faded out and been a more successful track he instead adlibs and ultimately leaves ‘Friday’ slightly overcooked.

On “Reggae Sauce” Jafro channels his Guyanese roots for a tune that brings the island vibes, but whilst the song shows promise – if ‘Friday’ was overcooked, “Reggae Sauce” feels undercooked with over a third of the track being the beat running with no lyrics. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing on a track all the time; and the added bass for this section does make the instrumental portion work reasonably well, it draws attention to the relativity low amount of lyrical substance to the track in this particular case.

The shining light of the ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’ EP is ‘Choke Safe’.

Featuring lyrics about sex, relationships  and ex-girlfriends, as well as a stellar hook that is sung with range that is both unexpected and striking – “Choke Safe” is arguably Jafro at his rawest on this EP (The final track “Inner Peace” isn’t far behind, but it’s a more personal and emotional rawness), and because of that the track feels the most relatable of the project – even if we don’t all choke out our partners when we’re doing the deed.

“One, Two hands upon your throat.

No, it’s not to take your breath away.

That’s so yesterday.

I’ll make you fall in love.

Two hands upon your throat,

No. It’s not to take your breath away.

It’s just to stop your blood, and make you fall in love.”

Jafro – Choke Safe

Overall, ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’ comes across as a more experimental project from Jafro; testing reggae/dub styles fused with R&B. There isn’t much of the Jafro “the grime artist” on this project but with the vocal skills that surprised and impressed on his Blackbox freestyle the exploration of another style of music can be easily understood, even if it leaves UK rap/grime fans slightly disappointed.

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Jafro

Although he’s been on the scene for a while, the first time Jafro really came into the frame for most outside of the midlands will have been as part of a Leicester based team on Redbull’s 2016 ‘Grime A Side’ tournament;  alongside other Leicester MCs Kamakaze, and Skeez. Although Leicester eventually lost in the final to Derby that year, (by a margin of 4% of the votes) Jafro’s bars and flows impressed on the road to the final.

More recently, Jafro did an impressive and ambitious Blackbox freestyle where he showcased some versatility unseen on his ‘Grime A Side’ outings; mixing harmonies and sung hooks in with his raps with exciting results.

It’s this more soulful side of Jafro that we see more of with his new EP ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’, highlighting that he’s not an artist to be pigeon-holed to just grime.

After setting the pace for the EP with the introductory “Okay : If Only”, the soft and soulful track “Friday” keeps the R&B vibes going with positive lyrics about trying escape gang lifestyle with your significant other.

Although “Friday” is good, you can’t help but feel Jafro does too much with the ending; where it could’ve faded out and been a more successful track he instead adlibs and ultimately leaves ‘Friday’ slightly overcooked.

On “Reggae Sauce” Jafro channels his Guyanese roots for a tune that brings the island vibes, but whilst the song shows promise – if ‘Friday’ was overcooked, “Reggae Sauce” feels undercooked with over a third of the track being the beat running with no lyrics. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing on a track all the time; and the added bass for this section does make the instrumental portion work reasonably well, it draws attention to the relativity low amount of lyrical substance to the track in this particular case.

The shining light of the ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’ EP is ‘Choke Safe’.

Featuring lyrics about sex, relationships  and ex-girlfriends, as well as a stellar hook that is sung with range that is both unexpected and striking – “Choke Safe” is arguably Jafro at his rawest on this EP (The final track “Inner Peace” isn’t far behind, but it’s a more personal and emotional rawness), and because of that the track feels the most relatable of the project – even if we don’t all choke out our partners when we’re doing the deed.

“One, Two hands upon your throat.

No, it’s not to take your breath away.

That’s so yesterday.

I’ll make you fall in love.

Two hands upon your throat,

No. It’s not to take your breath away.

It’s just to stop your blood, and make you fall in love.”

Jafro – Choke Safe

Overall, ‘Peace, Lust & Sauce’ comes across as a more experimental project from Jafro; testing reggae/dub styles fused with R&B. There isn’t much of the Jafro “the grime artist” on this project but with the vocal skills that surprised and impressed on his Blackbox freestyle the exploration of another style of music can be easily understood, even if it leaves UK rap/grime fans slightly disappointed.

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