Only one month ago, June 7th to be exact, did Jerrel dropped his latest mixtape, and since he has been on the move. He has interviewed with multiple people in the industry, shot music videos for two songs on the tape, and continues finding new avenues to promote ‘Nas Can’t Play’, a tribute project to his 1.5 year old son, Nas. The tape is sentimental, yet hard, it touches on some real topics, but when he asked me to write a review, I was nervous. Honored, but nervous none the less.
Why was I a little anxious to write the review? Well, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings because off gate, I judged the fact that it was a Spinrilla exclusive. If you guys know me, I always praise the slim few who put effort into their work and get their shit on Apple Music and Google Play. This time around though, I gave it a chance and I must say, I sure think this music deserves to be on a larger platform to reach a greater audience.
With all that being said let’s dive into the quality of Jerrel’s newly released mixtape Nas’ Can’t Play…
Start to finish the project is all there when it comes to variety and versatility. Starting with ‘If I Die’, a testimony of death and the life of a hustler to his son and ending by coming full circle in life, Jerrel gives his listeners a full story song to song. That in itself is impressive and gives his project an album like feel, encouraging you to finish the “story” and listen to the whole tape.
The project is 10 songs in length, so it is short, not so sweet, and to the point. Lasting less than 30 minutes, Jerrel covers many of the topics a father might speak on with his son, but in a way that’s almost indescribable. Every artist has a target market and an idea of who they want to reach with their music, yet this VA artist catered purposefully to his son in the future, almost as if his music is something to leave behind if he is gone. The best part about the whole thing? You wouldn’t even know if Jarrel didn’t tell you. Thankfully I got the DL on the project.
The album starts as if Nas, his son, is in the room and witnesses his father’s death; beginning with the end. He speaks on the revenge Nas might feel in his heart and how he needs to hold his family down and stay out the streets. A pretty good message I might say. He moves fluidly through, continuing to address major topics that all teenagers deal with in life.
Women, hoes, money, and flexing might not be the most important things in life, but they are to a teenager. He talks to Nas during his younger years when females are more pressing to one’s soul. Although “Insight” is a song anyone can rock to, it walks with Nas through the club and situations many of us face when we’re trying to flex. In “Coney Island” and “World In My Palms,” Jerrel covers the difference between a side chick (Coney Island) and the story of him and his main (World In My Palms). The main take from these songs is in his own words: “If you smooth you can float through any situation.”
Of course, there are more pertinent questions in life that need answers and foreseen issues that need solving. So in “I Can’t Hold You” and ” Nas Can’t Play,” Jerrel opens up about life as a father and his reasoning behind his actions. In “Iverson,” speaks on his grind and how his life is prospering due to his sickening work ethic, which makes this one of my favorite songs on the album.
Jerrel finds the perfect middle ground with this project making it deep, yet still relatable. The best part about this mixtape is the fact that you would never realize the entire project is a dedication to his son. He adds a likelihood of replayability by generalizing his personal content to cater to the vast majority, but never strays from his overall purpose of reaching Nas.
As noted before, you can listen to Nas Can’t Play, along with the rest of Jerrel’s music on Spinrilla. Here’s to hoping he makes the conversion to Apple Music and continues his efforts to get on top. Jerrel’s talent is raw and full of potential.
Below you can watch his latest interview with Streetz 103.3’s own Koke The Ken Doll. Let me know your thoughts on this artist in the comments!