Jaxter is "The W Town Psychopath". What is "W Town", you might ask? The answer is the most populous city in the Midwestern state of Kansas, Wichita. This makes Jaxter somewhat of a pioneer, as I don't think I ever heard of a rapper from Kansas.
With "The W Town Psychopath", Jaxter gives us an album that has a very mixtape-ish feeling to it. Firstly, there are a total of twenty tracks on this LP. While I thought that "Illmatic" was a bit short at ten songs, twenty is overkill for almost anybody, especially a new artist.
Secondly, there are collaborations on thirteen of the album's twenty tracks, and eleven of these feature two artists or more. Essentially, half the songs on "The W Town Psychopath" are posse cuts. This is not a wise choice for an unknown artist like Jaxter, who is surely trying to get noticed by putting out an LP. Still, it seems somebody over at W-Town Records thought this was a great idea since they use the old No Limit technique of announcing all the artists featured on the album cover.
Lyrically, Jaxter is a typical gangster rapper. He wants money, he's packing heat, he's smoking that good shit and will kill you if you fuck with him. The vast majority of the songs on "The W Town Psychopath" are made up of nothing more than generic gangster braggadocio. Also, he sometimes uses the mystic styles that made Bone Thugs-N-Harmony famous, as his gangster ways sometimes border on horrorcore rap.
Throughout "The W Town Psychopath", Jaxter shows versatility with his flow, but his Midwestern roots are always apparent. When he raps at a normal pace, he has a countrified voice similar to Nelly and the St. Lunatics. When he speeds it up, his Bone Thugs-N-Harmony influences become evident. In fact, he sounds like different members of the Cleveland crew depending on the song. Generally, he uses a deep voice reminiscent of Krazy Bone. However, when he uses a higher pitch such as on "Fuk Friends", one of the album's better songs, he does a dead on Bizzy Bone impression.
Jaxter switches up his flow a lot, which is positive. I particularly enjoy this aspect of Busta Rhymes and Ludacris's rapping, and it is definitely underused in Hip Hop. Still, because of these variations and the huge amount of guests on "The W Town Psychopath", it is sometimes hard to tell which one is Jaxter.
Rod-G and the Beat Kings handle most of the production on the album, giving it a core sound. Almost all of the songs are evocative of mid-to-late nineties Bay Area Hip Hop. Synth bass, synth strings, P-funk type synths...You get the idea. The beats on "The W Town Psychopath" feel very artificial. There is nothing wrong with relying on synthesizers, but the producers should have sampled more or added live instruments to their compositions to spice things up.
On the whole, "The W Town Psychopath" is a surprisingly uneventful LP. The vast majority of the beats sound alike and are bland. Jaxter's topics are extremely clichéd. A number of hooks are awkward. Most features are lifeless. I would really like to say something positive, but from the beats to the lyrics, everything is either adequate or inferior.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: December 8, 2009