Baby J has produced lots in the past and has received praise for it, most notably the work he did for Skinnyman's album 'Council Estate of Mind'. It was his tracks for that project which were consistently people's and critic's favourites. The anticipation for this album is therefore high, and the quality matches peoples expectations. Throughout the album, there's very short interludes where various voices contribute their acronym for F.T.P. These include the interpretations 'Fuck The Police', 'Free The Prisoners' and 'Fix The Problem'. Who said album titles have to be one dimensional.
The album starts with what remains the highlight of the release, 'None Of Them' featuring Skinnyman. Yet again, the Mud Fam rapper steals the show away from everyone else on the compilations track listing, and with ease, through an entertaining, charismatic style and consistent lyrics and delivery. This time there's not so much talk of the drama's of the lower working class, but the UK scene in general. This change of lyrical focus is refreshing, as is the very nice and simple piano based production which launches into a loud chorus which doesn't sound right on a first listen, but ends up being a strong grower.
The likes of A-Alikes, Mpho Skeef, Yogi, Blade, I.G, Skeme, Shystie, Nimrod, Malik, Bang, Moorish Delta 7 and Dead Prez feature on tracks, with 'Let It Go' by Rukus, Ty, Klashnekoff and Yogi being one of the stand out tracks, for it's big rooster, soulful sample, extremely chilled beat and tight flows. A revelation is the UK vocal talent of female singer Laurissa, on the track 'Shorty' which also features A-Alikes. She doesn't have the most amazing voice in the world but it's always a treat to hear less Americanized vocal attempts by UK talent. Her voice has a raw and humble quality to it.
The title track by Yogi has a quite funky vibe to it and sounds orientated around live instruments. 'Ride For Me' with the American N.i.m.r.o.d has a hint of Neptunes about the production and sounds a little similar to the breakthrough hit by The Clipse. 'Let Them Know' uses the same sample as on 'I Did It Like This' from the first Ugly Duckling album. The Dead Prez appearance suggests the duo should simply drop everything and let Baby J help them make something as enjoyable as 'Lets Get Free'.
Baby J is a serious producer with serious skills. There's few grey rain clouds hovering over the tracks and this is certainly an offering quite different in sonic vibes to a lot of other UK hip-hop production. There's a variety of paces and moods, with strong guest appearances and an indication that this guy can hold his own up against some of the super producers dominating the US premier league.