Hearing new music is like opening up gifts on Christmas morning. The anticipation one experiences as you download or upload that new song, mixtape, or album is similar to the same anxiousness you feel walking towards that decorated tree and the colorful presents underneath. Not only is music a gift, one of the greatest society has to offer, you rarely know what you’re going to get. Just like that tightly wrapped present, you don’t know what’s inside. Is it like that fun, new toy your cousin gets you? Or is it ANOTHER pair of ugly socks your aunt bought that you have to pretend to like just so you won’t hurt her feelings?
Thankfully, as I listened to Flamez Jelani’s mixtape, Pre.nghtfall, I realized quickly that it was the former. The mixtape was short, no more than 15 minutes, but it was effective. In just three songs I was able to see the full extent of Jelani’s lyricism, his attention to detail, and the dope production of his music. But this isn’t surprising. Flamez Jelani is a talented young man from eastern Virginia. One look at his Soundcloud, Spotify, or Apple Music accounts and you will see, or hear rather, the fruits of his labor. While many factors contribute to one’s opinion of what makes a song “good”, the main attributes I look for are production, beat, lyricism, catchiness, and the feeling the music creates. When listening to Pre.nghtfall, I had my ear out for all of these things and I found them.
The first song on the mixtape, COLD VIBE, caught my attention before it even started playing. I noticed it was produced by Lex Luger, one of my favorite producers. This let me know that not only was the song likely to be very good, Flamez Jelani is an artist to watch out for since a talent like Lex Luger is working with him. The beat of the song hit right from the beginning, causing a head nod that lasted the entire time. His lyrics and word play were interesting and catchy. I could easily hear this song playing in clubs, on the radio, and even on a soundtrack. The song has a mix of a dark beat that gets hype during the verses. The lyrics switch between speaking of having a bad dream and talking about getting money, gaining success, and enjoying the life. This is a song not only anyone can rock to, but anyone can understand and connect with. The song itself takes the listener on a journey they will likely mirror in their own life. Second on the mixtape is WHILE WE FUCCIN, produced by Asap Ty Beats. Once again, the beat captured my attention immediately.
The production was great as well, sounding professional with no flaws being detected. While the song is about a romantic situation with an old girl, Jelani also raps about his life, struggles, and journey as a rapper. The chorus is memorable and I found myself humming it throughout the day. The song is relatable and sweet in its own way, and I enjoyed it. The final song on this mixtape came too soon. I dig Flamez Jelani’s sound and flow and was enjoying listening to this tape. The third song is called DRUNK TEXT and is produced by Devereaux. The beat and production was 10/10, like the other songs on the tape. Although it is another song about relations with a girl Jelani is interested in with relatable lyrics, his ability to make each song sound completely unique is not lost on me. While he has an identifiable sound and flow, no two songs sound the same. DRUNK TEXT is a song anyone can blast in their car and can just lean back and chill.
I don’t claim to be a producer, artist, or anything of the kind. I am just a writer with a love of music, and I love Flamez Jelani’s music. I was not able to hear any flaws or anything I would change about Pre.nghtfall. From beginning to end, the hard work Jelani and the producers he worked with put into the beats and production was apparent. The lyrics were fun, deep, and anyone could find a connection within the music. I have found a new artist to add to my rotation and cannot wait to hear more from Flamez Jelani!
–Jessica R. Coleman