DEJANOMAS :: What You Need To Know :: OVJ Music
as reviewed by Justin 'Tha Shiznute' Chandler

What makes so great (we hope you think so too) is that everybody gets their chance on this site. Sure, you, the reader will get the obligatory reviews for the new 50 Cent and Kanye West CD's come September 11th, but on the entire other end of the spectrum are albums like DEJANOMAS' "What You Need To Know" that step up to the plate with an opportunity to shine. We realize that it is not record sales that make an artist, rather it is the vision and product they deliver. There is more than a 99.9% chance you haven't heard of this guy, but are you really missing out? Or does this music make the listener pull a Roberto Duran and say "No mas!"?

Brooklyn bred DEJANOMAS (Dee-jay-no-mas) attempts to channel the rich heritage of the NY rap music scene on his new album "What You Need To Know". It quickly becomes apparent that another Papoose he is not. In terms of style DEJANOMAS is more similar to 50 Cent with painfully indiscreet lyrics, though not nearly as lewd, brooding, or creative. Furthermore, he raps with a very straightforward and unenthused flow.

The eight track opus kicks off with the sporadic piano keys of "Baby Gurl" which is one of the more accessible tracks on the album. It still fails in the respect that the featured artist has a bland approach to the game. The opening verse, often the best of an unknown artist that releases an album (as it leaves a first impression), is uninspired:

"You so sweet and innocent, special and lovely
How in the world can I get you to love me?
Me oil and water, we can spark that firewater
And start to talk son and daughter
It's you I want to lay with, be with and hold
Cuddle under covers with when it gets cold
The relationship is young but respect my vision
Maybe in do time we can be on a mission
As Mr. and Mrs. hugs and kisses
I'm your nigga, you're my ma, that's my only two wishes (one wish!)
Ya either want my love or you want my riches
Thought alone of me trickin' got my stomach in stiches
It's a must that I smell good girl, look fly
For the fact trying to catch your eye
Plus attention, need nothing part time
My mind is full-time sorta like 9-5
hope we see eye to eye..."

The sing-songy chorus ala 50 comes through with a cringe-inducing effect, seeing that the dude cannot really sing with his flat monotone voice. No less, one can tell by breaking down the lyrics above that the rhyme scheme and word choice is rather elementary. Rhyming the same etymological root 'love me' and 'lovely' is very frustrating to listen to. There are rare occasions that DEJANOMAS says anything that cannot be deconstructed to the raw surface level that it is. The few metaphors and punches on the disc are forgettable at best.

The album does not really unfold into anything special at any point, however, at least it gets a bit less marshmallow soft with songs like "Duck, Duck, Goose", obviously named after the children's game of the same name. DEJANOMAS takes this opportunity to turn the old game into a violent episode by indicating that the goose would be the one to get shot. Likewise, "Major Moves" incorporates another piano laced beat that would pass as a low budget Havoc beat with a vein attempt to get grimy.

At least DEJANOMAS steals from some good source material when the production team jacks The Game's "How We Do" beat for his cut entitled "Life Got Me". This is the obligatory song of the underground artist about how the music is his life and the life is his music. The most ironic quote comes when 'NOMAS drops the line, "It seems I'ma make it in the music industry, but I do it for y'all, I don't do this shit for me!"

This 24 minute piece is completely self serving for DEJANOMAS and the B.C. United (not the MLS soccer team) crew that backs him. So, there are these lesser known albums that is more than willing to offer their editorials on, but sometimes the plan may backfire so submit at your own peril. There is great underground music in the rap genre of music more than any other, and since the market is flooded more than ever, there is some that is kind of pointless altogether. DEJANOMAS offers nothing new to the game and will have most listeners pleading like they've taken some swift Sugar Ray Leonard jabs to the skull, "NO MAS! NO MAS!"

Music Vibes: 2 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 2.5 of 10

Originally posted: September 4, 2007