New Jersey is home to some of the illest talent that Hip-Hop heads have had the pleasure of viewing. Pioneer acts such as Poor Righteous Teachers, YZ, Mark the 45 King and Queen Latifah have paved the way for budding prospects like Redman, Naughty By Nature and the Fugees to flourish. Hip-Hop spread its illustrious roots from The Bronx to Brick City and beyond. Many emcees have been privileged to carry the torch for the Garden State, but none have managed to keep New Jersey in the spotlight, until now. Straight out of the streets of Middlesex emerges New Jerusalem’s latest prodigy, C. Dot. James, whose powerful punch lines and meticulous metaphors will amaze and astound audiences everywhere. His latest mixtape “Sign Language” features 17 banging tracks for your listening pleasure.
C. Dot sets the tone straight from the beginning on his introductory track “Who I Am”. The song opens with a blaring air raid siren accompanied by dark chords, sinister keys and affluent drums. C. Dot unleashes a verbal onslaught as he assaults the track like Ron Artest assaulting a Pistons fan. Although the track is an intro, it has all of the elements of a full-length feature with its solid production and lyrical finesse.
Sign Language continues to present its greatness on “Eerie Thoughts”. C. Dot gives the audience a chance to view life through his eyes as he revisits a near fatal motor vehicle accident by spittin “I’m drinking red wine/I feel intoxicated/I survived that car crash damn I’m glad I made it/That is real talk/Don’t believe it, look it up/Icy roads almost flipped my GMC truck/God was on my side/He gave me wings to fly/I was born to live/I wasn’t meant to die.” If that’s not enough, he also describes his daily struggle with the devil that sits atop his shoulders. In this continuous battle between good and evil C. Dot continues to claim victory against the demons that haunt him.
C. Dot is joined by fellow emcee Pause Flights on the lyrically fortified “Ride or Die”. The two trade verbal darts over a commanding horn and percussion heavy track. C. Dot displays his witty wordplay as he states “I Cold Krush any type of Def Jam/That’s no bluff fam/I stick to what I say man”. His counterpart, Pause Flights returns fire by saying “I tap out/Hit you with lines until I black out/You act out/I hit you with nines and blow your back out”. The flow and delivery of both emcees is reminiscent of vintage Black Thought and Malik B verbal exchanges, where both emcees brought out the best in each other as they destroyed the musical selection.
C. Dot pours his heart and soul into “Just Listen”, where he discusses his feelings of paranoia a la The Ghetto Boy’s “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me”. The thoroughbred emcee gives listeners a front row seat to watch C face his worst daydreams and darkest nightmares. Other noteworthy tracks from “Sign Language” are the up-tempo/inspirational “Little Black Clouds” and the electrifying “I Am Hip-Hop Outro” (yes even the outro is certified dope).
C. Dot. James picks up where those before him have left off. His flow, delivery and lyrical abilities make him the ideal emcee to become New Jersey’s next torchbearer. His latest mixtape clearly demonstrates that even if you are deaf, you can hear, understand and interpret his distinct form of expression; Sign Language.