Written by Sam Hadelman
This week, J.I. the Prince of NY added to his already impressive resume with Welcome to GStar Vol. 1 EP.
J.I. is one of the most prominent voices for the youth of New York City, and this tape further solidified that position. Though the city has been most notable of late for its eclectic drill scene, J.I. offers an adjacent alternative on this project. In under 17 minutes, J.I. lays out a diverse offering to accompany his status in the musical ecology of New York City, all while flawlessly staying true to his origins. One of the greatests strengths J.I. has an artist is his ability to synthesize the wide-range of influences that comprise the city itself, and with features from Myke Towers and Lil Durk, one of the forefathers of J.I. ‘s sound, he brought these factors fully to fruition.
One of the aspects of J.I.’s career that separates him from his peers is the thorough and consistent production on his projects. With producers like Jabarionthebeat and DocOnDaBeat perfectly crafting his sound, J.I. was able to explore the depths of his own artistry with lavish beats to partner the journey. This perfect partnership shows up on the tracks “Love In This Club” and “20k (Intro), with J.I. fully embracing the instrumentals Jabarionthebeat, DocOnDaBeat, and VVS Melody have laid out for him. Having stellar, loyal producers on your team is half the battle for a rapper, and J.I. has seemingly conquered that notable engagement on this EP. Furthermore, the first steps towards being a superstar are consistency, ingenuity, and creativity, and J.I. displayed a full-range of these qualities on Welcome to GStar Vol. 1 EP.
J.I. is already a superstar in his city, but this project showed that there is so much more to come from him as he gears up to be a global superstar. The question isn’t whether J.I. is prepared for success, but whether success is prepared for J.I..