Its been almost three years since Middlesbrough MC, Jister linked up with The Lion Ranger for the outstanding ‘Absurdism’ EP. The collaboration brought us some absolute gems such as ‘Super Ridiculous’, ‘Let There Be Light’ and ‘Now That You.’ It was frustrating having to a wait a considerably long time by today’s industry standards for the follow up, but ultimately ‘JTLR’ was well worth the delays.
Having performed at Evolution Emerging, Music Box Festival and Reali-T’s ‘Stay Tuned’ album release soiree alongside becoming first the rap artist on the cover of NARC. magazine. This album is already successful in terms of its impact. In terms of how ‘JTLR’ has been able to bring in a whole new audience to the North East hip-hop scene, it could be argued Jister and The Lion Ranger have an instant classic on their hands.
Musically, there’s so much depth to the production of the LP. The Lion Ranger has purposefully took his time in the post-production of ‘JTLR’ making the soundscape vast and immersive. Every drum pattern, string section and varying effects on Jister’s voice is subtle but essential to the building of the foundation for the Boro barsmith to spit his bullish rhymes over.
A highlight of the album comes on ‘Vicarious Life’ as a somewhat natural sequel to ‘Super Ridiculous’ with the constant nods to pop culture. Whenever performing ‘Vicarious Life’, Jister introduces the song as a result of watching too much Netflix whilst not entirely sober.
The stand out song comes courtesy of ‘Babbington’ featuring fellow Tees rapper Smoggy. The third verse in which the two MCs go back-and-forth is an absolute delight to the ears. The section about setting each other up for volleys is so incredibly normal, you’d never expect it to make it into a song – and that is what makes ‘JTLR’ so great. There’s certainly some obscure ‘Absurdism’ in there, but its also clear that Jister is unapologetically himself, far more comfortable rapping about playing football and Netflix than skrrrrting in wraiths.