For years now Nu Jerzey Devil has been synonymous with Chuck Taylor and Black Wall Street (and having one of theee sickest medallions in the game). But little by little he’s been coming into his own and branching out with his own brand of gangsta music and has officially thrown his hat into the ring to be recognized as the latest rapper to represent the “suuuu-whoooop!” even though he isn’t from LA.

But the odds are already stacked against him. Aside from being a Latino rapper, he’s also from New Jersey (not New York or LA) and a Blood. Those three things mixed in one single pot ain’t sit well with a lot of gang purists and hip-hop fans in general. So if he plans on having a successful career in the game, he really has his work cut out for him. And it all begins with the music.

Up-and-coming LA rapper, Jay Rock, helps jumps things off with the street cut, “Official Bloodline” where he reflects on his life growing up in the streets of LA and how it’s changed. Jerz switched things up and spits over drums and hi-hats on “Rapper Slash Rocker” and came off with a truck banger. On “Different Girls” fellow Blood brother, Lil Wayne gave him a hand to give the song that mainstream club appeal via Auto-Meirda.

But his forte lies in making heat for the hood that them dudes that pull burners can feel. Such is the case with joints like “Do You” and “Somebody’s Gonna Die 2nite” with Dev spitting, “You never know when it’s your time to go/I prepare for the worst before I walk out the door/mentality rapidly thinkin’ casualty/is them niggas that I robbed still after me? call me paranoid, overcautious but never scared/cause niggas in the hood living long is so rare.”

His weak moments came with his singing on hooks the way he did on “Shyne Like Me,” and “How I Does” (which is a cool club joint, but the hook is eh). And I don’t care if he has a reality show or not, but featuring Ray J on anything is a sign of “I need the publicity.” If you needed someone for “So Wet” you might as well have gotten Coolio on a record or even Flava Flav, f*ck it. Ray seems like cool to chill with, but as an artist I’m not rolling the dice on his “talent” on my record. Needless to say, it turned out to be the weakest song on the mixtape (does that really surprise anyone?)

While Jerz isn’t a great rapper, he’s a pretty decent one. He seems to know the mechanics of being a well- rounded rapper and being able to touch on all corners of of the culture. He’s not a battle rapper or an R&B rapper or a straight gangsta rapper. He’s just, a rapper. His flow is average and his rhymes are OK. What he does best is he goes along with the beat. Give him a hard beat and he’ll spit some hard ish (“Hate”). Throw a mellow beat his way and he’ll talk about getting his groove on with a cute little philly (“That’s Me”). But therein lies his weakness. Being a jack of all trades isn’t the smartest idea and you haven’t established a solid swag. On one mixtape he had hip-hop, Rock, R&B, Pop and gangsta rap. He was all over the place with it. But hey, to each his own. I thought it was mostly cool, but it’s up to the fans where this dude goes from here on in. My only question for NJD is, “why wasn’t Game on this mixtape?” If anyone knows the answer to that let me know. Uno.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Rapper Slash Rocker”

Weakest Joint: “So Wet”