J Hus finally emerges from his three-year hibernation, bearing the gift of the most hyped-up project in the UK: “B.A.B.Y (Beautiful and Brutal Yard).” And boy, did he deliver! It’s like he’s playing a never-ending game of musical perfection, maintaining a flawless discography.
I love tunes like this from Hus. The production is like a slow and sultry strum that lures you in, accompanied by a traditional Afro backdrop that adds extra flavor.
J Hus graces us with his street sermon talk and even throws in a bit of romantic storytelling. The lyrics might jump all over the place, but that makes J Hus unique and is why we adore him.
4. Militerian (Ft. Naira Marley)
This track takes me back to my childhood, reminding me of those unforgettable African parties (Particularly Ghanaian ones). It seamlessly follows “Who Told You,” keeping the Afro-party vibe alive.
Naira Marley’s presence adds that extra spark, making you want to move your body without a care in the world.
3. Who Told You (Ft. Drake)
Speaking of “Who Told You,” it’s a heavy contender for song of the summer in the UK to Nippa’s “Reverse” (We can debate this later).
This absolute banger caught us by surprise, as we never knew we needed a collaboration between Drake and J Hus until now. Although some argue about Drake’s verse being necessary, the song itself is damn near perfect. It’s a must-play at high volumes every time that beat drops within the first few seconds.
2. Nice Body (Ft. Jorja Smith)
“I like you for your mind and not your nice body!!!!”
We get a captivating collaboration from J Hus and the talented Jorja Smith here. They explore the realms of mental stimulation through their lyrics, creating a record you can’t help but send to that special someone. The chemistry between Hus and Jorja shines through, and their vocals blend seamlessly with the production.
1. Masculine (Ft. Burna Boy)
Lastly, we have “Masculine,” a collaboration between J Hus and his frequent creative partner, Burna Boy. This track embodies everything you hope and expect from these two powerhouses.
Burna Boy conjures magic in the hook, ensuring that parties will be turned up all summer long and beyond. Some may argue that “Masculine” feels slightly undercooked compared to their previous collaborations, but trust me, give it time. This record has “timeless” written all over it, and it’s bound to grow on you with every listen.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Intro (THE GOAT) (N/A)
2. Massacre (5/5)
3. Who Told You (Ft. Drake) (5/5)
4. Militerian (Ft. Naira Marley) (5/5)
5. Palm Tree (5/5)
6. Nice Body (Ft. Jorja Smith) (5/5)
7. Masculine (Ft. Burna Boy) (5/5)
8. Come Look (4/5
9. Cream (Ft. CB) (4.5/5)
10. Comeback (Ft. Villz) (4/5)
11. Alien Girl (4/5)
12. Fresh Water/Safa Kara (2/5)
13. My Baby (4/5)
14. Problem Fixer (4/5)
15. Killy (Ft. Popcaan) (4/5)
16. It’s Crazy (4/5)
17. Bim Bim (2/5)
18. Come Gully Bun (Gambian President) (Ft. Boss Belly) (3.5/5)
19. Playing Chess (4.5/5)
J Hus starts Beautiful and Brutal Yard with explosive, potential chart-topping hit records featuring notable artists. Surprisingly, despite the heavy features, this album showcases J Hus himself. Even with the likes of Drake, Jorja Smith, and Burna Boy lending their melodic prowess to it, Hus remains the standout star. There were a few cuts I could do without such as “Fresh Water/Safa Kara” and “Bim Bim,” but they didn’t hurt the overall quality of the album.
Executive producer TSB deserves applause for his work on Beautiful and Brutal Yard. While some may debate whether TSB and J Hus make a better duo than J Hus and super producer JAE5, it’s undeniable that their collaboration has yielded two successful bodies of work.
In Beautiful and Brutal Yard, J Hus deviates from the spiritual and reflective themes that elevated his previous albums. While we wanted more of his personal story, he still captivates with his unmatched command over rhythm and rhyme.
The album, titled “Beautiful and Brutal Yard,” embodies the duality of the world and J Hus’ connection to his roots. It explores various genres fearlessly, displaying undeniable growth. J Hus weaves his potency, struggles, and romance throughout the album.
J Hus reigns supreme, delivering a diverse and compelling album that will find itself at the top of many critics’ year-end lists.