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review // pigeon john // pigeon john featuring pigeon john

Pigeon John . What more can be said about one of hip-hop's most entertaining and animated emcees? I think it's fair to say that if you haven't heard Pigeon John, then you can't say you've ‘heard it all‘; at least in hip-hop realms. The latest installment in the Pigeon John series is “Pigeon John Featuring Pigeon John” ; a collection of pasts and presents from the Los Angeles emcee, over the span of his ten years and counting in the game. The LP contains 19 tracks of PJ's most memorable guest appearances, from the Brainwash classic ‘ Muchas Muchachas ,' to the memorable performance on ‘ The Pigeon John Song ,' from RedCloud's 2001 release “Is This Thing On?” If you're a Pigeon John fan, or even if your not, this records got a little something for everyone.

A story of lost love in Joey the Jerk's ‘ Same Dark Sweater ,' opens the LP up in beautiful fashion. Over a simple acoustic loop, Pigeon John drowns in his sorrow of emotional insecurity, asking himself: “should I stay, should I leave?/need space to breathe/so I just gotta walk away/I don‘t wanna let go of you, though my heart says to/so I just gotta walk away/I know I told you I‘d stay, but things have changed/so I just gotta walk away/I miss you, I just wanna kiss you and make it okay/but I just gotta walk away.” LPG teams with ‘MC Pigeon' on a cut from their 1995 classic “Earthworm , in ‘Judge Not.' Peace 586 provides the backdrop, in flute/recorder samples, for the Los Angeles emcees to speak over, regarding the pitfalls of judging others. Pigeon John and his fellow Brainwash emcee bTwice come together in fine fashion on the first and original version of ‘Muchas Muchachas.' Different from the version on the Basement Records release of “The Rise and Fall of Brainwash Projects , the track is a much more mellow rendition of the classic BP's cut. PJ and punk rockers Pax 217 team up on ‘Gratitude,' a drastic change from what you would expect from PJ; but by now we should all expect the unexpected from him right? Heavy rock guitars and DJ cuts accompany this odd pairing of artists as PJ comes in midway through the song with a very short verse. Driven By The Facts , ' produced by J-Beits , features Sharlok Poems , J-Beits and bTwice . Released on Sharlok Poems solo LP from 2002 “Left , the track is upbeat and hypnotic; experienced best at high volumes. ‘Not This Record' brings in an early 90's collaboration with Freedom of Soul and Brainwash Projects . Timeless old school raps fill the track as the emcees take turns playing with words. And who could forget the Pigeon John / RedCloud collaboration ‘The Pigeon John Song' from RedCloud's debut solo album. RedCloud tells a story of the great lengths he went to to get his favorite emcee of all-time, “Pigeon Jiggy Jiggy” , on a song for his album. An unforgettably entertaining song, RedCloud and Pigeon John mesh very well together on the mic and have since collaborated together a few more times, most notably off Luke Geraty's ‘Pandemonium' track off of his LP “It's Cold Out Here , which is featured on the album as well.

 

“Pigeon John Featuring Pigeon John” is not a greatest hits album, but a scattered collection of the good, and some of the bad, of PJ throughout his 10+ year career. Tracks like “Golden Motorcycle , ” “Planes and Trains” and “Paperweights” are a resemblance of the PJ we have come to know and love. While on the other hand tracks like “The Next Big Thing , and the punk inspired “Gratitude” were a representation of some of the rather bad, and too experimental, times in PJ's career. An album definitely worth getting your hands on, “Pigeon John Featuring Pigeon John” is a limited edition print and when it's gone, it's gone.


Suggested Listening: L.A. Symphony, John Reuben, Mars ILL


Key Tracks: “The Pigeon John Song” (feat. RedCloud), “Same Dark Sweater” (feat. Joey the Jerk), “Judge Not” (feat. LPG)

 

Review Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Reviewer: RationaL

 

Used with permission from www.HipHopForTheSoul.com

 

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