Released February 18, 2013
- Burfday Intro
- K-town Voicemails ft. Danny Cho
- Huell Howser
- PCH (Interlude)
- Stereo Jack ft. Ehwhenkeem
- Freedumb ft. Pigeon John
- Evol You
- Seagulls (Interlude)
- W$STDE ft. Raquel Rodriguez
- Damnit Duke! ft. Wax, Sahtyre & Matik
- After Two
- Ganghis Khan
- Born For This
Dumbfoundead put this album out for free on Bandcamp. On his birthday, no less. Already on his fourth album; if he continues at this level of music, there should be no reason for him to stop.
My real complaint with Take the Stares was that some of the transitions between songs were rough and could ruin the listening experience. That doesn’t happen here on Old Boy Jon. As I do with every music review, I sat down multiple times and listened to the album, front to back. I found that I was never turned off by the sequencing. All of the credit goes to the producer of the entire LP, Duke Westlake. The MC & DJ duo is almost non-existent in this modern era of hip-hop, but it’s a good reminder that it can bode well when the entire production of a release was handled by one person.
The first single (if you can call it that), 24KTWN, is a part-hometown ode and part-aspiration rap. Plenty of rappers have done hometown songs (Dumb has done a few before this album). What sets this track apart is that there are bars where he explicitly says he’s looking to improve his city. Other city songs only sing praises, while Dumb addresses negatives as well. He’s looking to give gold watches to his people.
One of my favourite tracks off Old Boy Jon is Evol (Evil) You. It’s the spiritual sequel to Shotgun, earlier in the album. Shotgun is a love record utilizing a shotgun metaphor. Evol You, to me, is the other end of the relationship. Everything is falling apart. There’s the regret of ever meeting in the first place.
I’ve tried on multiple times to find major flaws in the album. I can’t do it. By no means am I arguing that this is perfect? But the songs individually stand on their own, but they come together for something better. DFD’s lyrics and flow have taken a step up from his last output. Duke Westlake provided a distinct, textured soundscape that DFD had crafted into something that is solely him.
It’s amazing that he released an album for free. Especially an album of this quality. Someone should tell Dumbfoundead that the next time he puts an album on the level as Old Boy Jon, he should put a price on it.