Whether you’re a fan or not, Jim Jones is one of the few rappers from the city that never sleeps that’s keeping NYC relevant. While it may not be in the lyrical category, he’s doing his part in some way, shape or form. Given, he doesn’t have the rhyme skills that his former comrade Killa Cam had, and he sure as hell isn’t as lyrical as Juelz Santana, but Jim’s swag on records has been keen to his success. And I’m not talking about Louis V scarves or tight pants (do the knowledge on who started that trend and for what cause. See if y’all still feel “hard” afterwards). I’m talking about the laid back G’d up style he can give a record. But swag can only take you so far for so long.

It’s obvious Jones isn’t trying to get mentioned in the Top 10 Dead or Alive list, but with joints like “Till We Win” he is trying to remind the streets that he’s doing this for them with proclaiming, “My niggas, I cry with cha/I won’t die for ya, but I’ll die wit cha/apply pressure/they don’t respect lesser/and breathe deep cause the streets like asbestos/and police they wanna test us/but to get us they gotta catch us.” With “Frenemies” Jimmy continues to wage war on Max B with a subpar lyrical barrage on his former homeboy. And honestly, I don’t know if mentioning “”Homie said another nigga knocked out, Suge,” on “BG Brawl” is the smartest thing to do. But then again this is the same man who called Tony Yayo an immigrant. That made NO sense whatsoever, so whatever.

Street Religion is a harsh reminder that if NYC is depending on Jones’ to carry us back to the top of the game then we might as well hope that the one time New York’s Ridah man ends up riding the bench. I like dude and how he represents the old school NY in his ways and actions (except the dressing), but his simplicity is just crucial at times. On songs “As The World Turns” and “NY Dreams” he rhymes and raps but doesn’t have anything to say other than he’s hood and he’s paid. While I can say Sandman had some tight verses and even Freekey Zekey had a moment here and there, I can’t say the same for Jim. If he could rhyme his ass off or at least say some thought provoking lyrics then he’d be unstoppable in a sense, but alas, son is only as interesting as the beat he’s given… sometimes.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Key To The City”

Weakest Joint: “NY Dreams”