In 2014, Jister & The Lion Ranger teamed up for the amazing ‘Absurdism’ EP. Becoming one of the many, newly formed, rapper-producer partnerships in the wake of the astronomically successful ‘Run The Jewels’ projects by Killer Mike & El-P, the pair put out one of the better released North East Hip Hop has to offer. With two years since the likes of ‘Super Ridiculous’ graced my ears, Jister had repeatedly promised that new music was on it’s way, but it never came. That was until ‘Plinky‘ arrived and ushered in a new wave of unashamed anticipation for their forthcoming ‘JTLR‘ album together.
Opening with an infectious hook, featuring Jister’s infamously laid-back delivery. Turn the video off, and just imagine how the Smog-spitter would have looked whilst rapping these bars, and you can’t help but feel he’d be smirking. With a natural twinge of sarcasm becoming synonymous with his releases. Despite the braggadocio and condescending lyricism, it’s impossible to dislike Jister. His charismatic charm dispelling any questions of arrogance, his delivery alone making him likeable from the get-go.
Jister’s flow and the production backdrop which The Lion Ranger provides makes ‘Plinky’ perfect for a chilled summer vibe – but the pair have alluded that the full-length project will be much darker than ‘Plinky’ would suggest. It will be interesting to see if the forthcoming project will be similar to the ‘Absurdism’ EP, in terms of having an unusual and complex concept that at first would appear disconnected and almost as though its rapping for the sake of rapping, as opposed to have a purposeful point.
That is the one issue I have with ‘Plinky’, because of it’s lack of narrative it sounds like a great album cut, but comes off as an underwhelming lead single. it doesn’t offer too much insight into what’s to come, nor does it offer anything new that we haven’t heard from the pairing. Not every track needs to hold deep personal meanings, or have a socially conscious message, and as a chilled, laid-back, summer song, ‘Plinky’ is cool – I like it very much. For a lead single, however, I expect something a lot more impactful than this.
I have every belief that Jister & The Lion Ranger have better songs that could have been singles that might have commanded more attention and I have no doubts that when the album arrives, ‘Plinky’ will be one of my favourite tracks as an album cut. I’m always willing to give Jister & The Lion Ranger, the benefit of the doubt, they earned that with the EP, but if any other artists put ‘Plinky’ out as the lead single from a forthcoming venture, I wouldn’t be waiting with much anticipation anymore.
‘Plinky’ is a solid sample of Jister & The Lion Ranger’s capabilities and is well worth a listen, but I’m much more intrigued by these tracks about “depression, suicide, zombie apocalypse and evil Machiavellian women”, Jister says are on their way.