(Photo Credit: Tommy Ellis)

Three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), a new artist is featured on XXLMag.com’s The Break. An ideal destination for fans, artists, and industry members, The Break showcases up and coming talent, giving a brief introduction on the artist or group, and highlighting some of their standout music. Each month, industry insiders will team with XXL to rate and comment on the submissions.

For the month of December, DJ B-Rock, Buyer and Product Analyst at Best Buy/Anderson Merchandisers, checked out the section to see what this week’s talent (Jehuniko) had to offer. Check out his comments below and be sure to pick up XXL x Best Buy’s Mini-Magazine, exclusively at Best Buy.

Overall: L

Jehuniko will remind listeners of Bizzy Bone for his incorporation of harmonies with a quick flow. But that’s where the similarities end. Instead of the usual stoner and gangster raps of the Cleveland emcee, Jehuniko delves into politics and socioeconomic issues prevalent on the West coast.

On a technical level his delivery is routinely aggressive, but can be tamed for quietly powerful songs like “22 Years Old”. His voice isn’t the strongest, but adding melody to his flow helps set him apart. At times it sounds like his tracks are a little too overdubbed in order to smooth out the harmonies. Instead of ironing out the lyrics, the layers end up making things a bit garbled. It’s hard to add overdubs to nearly every word when you rhyme on the eighth or even sixteenth note like in “Embrace the Inner Madness”. Fortunately this isn’t the case on every track I came across and his flow is mostly on point, riding the track like a sixth member of Bone.

In terms of content, there’s plenty to take away from Jehuniko. You won’t find conspiracy theories or learn about third world problems, but that gets old. And, frankly, hip-hop doesn’t need another Immortal Technique, because he does it better than anybody else can. Jehuniko can get introspective enough to seem like a close friend, but has a broad enough perspective to paint a city and a world that many have never glimpsed.

If you like your West coast hip-hop with a message and a dash of Cleveland crooning, look no further than Jehuniko.