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Shawn Jackson: First of All...

By Kimberly Turnerreviews
Jul 14, 2008 - 10:45 PM

Move over and make room. There’s a new Jackson on the scene, Shawn Jackson. While he is not related to the King of Pop, this SoCal emcee proves he is in fact bad with his debut global release, First Of All..., on Tres Records.

The album opens with the smooth piano driven groove of “How Ya’ll Feel??” It’s a pre-show warm up capturing the anticipation of giddy fans that drove cross country to see Shawn Jackson live and the anxious rapper about to take the stage. “Soopafly” is well, fly. It would just as easily fit in an episode of Soul Train or a club. Other gems include “Gold Medal Kids” on which Beloved and Comel of Time Machine make cameos and “Backstage,” which features thumping church organs and tambourines. It’s less “Jesus Walks” and more like a warped Baptist church band on Easter Sunday.

Watch "Feelin' Jack"

When it comes to lyrical delivery Shawn Jackson definitely doesn’t suffer from a lack of confidence. First Of All... is self deprecation free and packed with unrelenting cockiness. Can anyone really blame him though? He’s worked and toured with acclaimed acts such as Time Machine, Gym Class Heroes, Giant Panda, and C.R.A.C. Knux’s Ta’Raach so he’s got a bit of wiggle room when it comes to bragging.

Co-produced by Mekalek of Time Machine, First Of All captures their signature tongue-in-cheek trademark. Sticking with the album’s live venue theme, interludes dealing with crazy stalkers to bargaining at the merchandise table, litter the disc with humor.

Despite little help from radio, singles like “Feelin' Jack” are creating lots of internet buzz. With it’s affinity for late 80s hip-hop beats, First Of All... is sure to please purists and convert new fans along the way.


Kimberly Turner is Oh Dang! Magazine's resident music critic and pastry fiend. And No, she's not fat.

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