First Impressions: J Hus – Big Conspiracy

An Intro To J Hus

J Hus is a 23 year old rapper hailing from Stratford in London, England, who started rapping back in 2015 with the release of a bunch of freestyles online, followed by a couple of popular singles including ‘Dem Boy Pigeon’ & ‘No Lie’. In July of 2015 he released his first mixtape ‘The 15th Day’, followed by the release of a couple more singles and then his ‘Playing Sports’ EP in October of 2016.

2017 was when J Hus really started garnering more attention, featuring on songs by other big UK rappers including Stormzy & Dave. In 2017 he also dropped the single ‘Did You See’ in the lead up to his debut album, and had the song chart at number 9. His debut album album ‘Common Sense’ was released in May of 2017 and received generally positive reviews with fans. He followed this up by releasing his ‘Big Spang’ EP in May of 2018, and then shortly after that spent 8 months in prison, in which he had no solo music release. 2019 saw J Hus released from prison, he appeared on songs by Dave & Skepta, & he was brought out by Drake at a concert in London.

And that brings us up to the present day! On January 24th of 2020 J Hus released his second album, and his first project since being released from prison, Big Conspiracy. The album has 13 tracks, only 3 features, and was preceded by the release of 2 singles, ‘Must Be’ & ‘No Denying’, the latter of which has a video I’ll include a link to at the bottom. I’ve reviewed the album in 2 parts, first will be an informal and unedited track by track review I write as I listen through, and following will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include links to stream the album plus some discussion questions at the bottom. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. Big Conspiracy (ft. iceè tgm) – J Hus is just so pleasant to listen to, flows are pretty basic on this though. Bars are quite simple but the storytelling is decent, and decent rhymes too. Enjoy the feature, the female vocals are a nice touch. Beat is pretty average, just an ok song

2. Helicopter (ft. iceè tgm) – Similar vibes to the last song, average beat and flows with some more pleasant female vocals from iceè tgm. The hook on this one is more catchy. Song feels like it ended too early. Not too bad overall

3. Fight For Your Right – Real catchy hook, some real captivating melodies. Another simple beat but the flows are much more exciting and the bars are more solid, some funny bars too. Enjoyable track

4. Triumph – Appreciate how much J Hus experiments with his flow on this one, isn’t always the best but I appreciate the effort. The verses progressively get better as they go on. Hook is nice and catchy but I wish it didn’t repeat. Beat is simple but is actually quite enjoyable, love the little guitar solo at the end. On the fence about this

5. Play Play (ft. Burna Boy) – Instrumental has this reggae feel to it. Burna Boy flexes his singing on the hook, sounds quite good. Flows are pretty simple but Hus glides over the beat with ease. Average bars mainly, a couple great bars scattered throughout. Hook itself isn’t too catchy. Okay track

6. Cucumber – Strange melodies from Hus, is intriguing but not too enjoyable. Some funny bars but the flows and the beat are nothing special. Hook is one of my least favourite so far. Song is just super mid all the way through

7. Repeat (ft. Koffee) – Love the energy Koffee brings to the song, her verses flow amazingly and her delivery is fantastic over this simple, slightly reggae beat. The Hus hook is average. Feels like a Koffee song, is okay but nothing too great

8. Fortune Teller – Exciting from the get go, real intriguing beat and flows. Hook is repetitive but catchy and well delivered. Some solid bars. Song has this awesome vibe, but drags on a bit too long at the end. Still a good song

9. Reckless – Hus sounds real hungry, hard hitting bars and some impressive rhyme schemes. Another simple beat but has this nice mellow vibe & Hus rides it real well. Short and sweet enjoyable track

10. No Denying – Beat is kinda exciting, Hus’ flows are quite boring and basic mostly though. Hook had an okay melody but is average overall. Some good rhyme schemes but mediocre song overall

11. Must Be – Beat is simple mostly but has a real nice bass line and this nice little brass section at times. Some quality bars but the flows aren’t too impressive. Hook is okay at first, but does grow on you as the song goes on. Okay song

12. Love, Peace & Prosperity – Interesting vibe, love the flows and rhymes on the hook. Beat has beach vibes, is quite enjoyable. Verses flow well, and have some great bars and storytelling too. Song drags on too much though, on the fence

13. Deeper Than Rap – Some great bars, and Hus flows well over the piano based beat. Beat itself is a bit simple & boring. Song is a bit one dimensional, doesn’t go anywhere, feels like it is lacking something. Average song overall

Album Review

Overall I felt like Big Conspiracy was an incredibly average album, with a couple of standout moments scattered throughout, but just as many boring moments as well, with the majority being somewhere in between. The album was full of pleasant melodies from J Hus, but unfortunately his flows and delivery were quite simple and generic throughout, with Hus only changing things up on a couple of tracks. I didn’t have many expectations coming into this album, last year the only J Hus I had heard was a couple of stellar hooks on songs with Dave & Skepta, ‘Disaster’ and ‘What Do You Mean’ respectively, so going into this all I was expecting were some catchy hooks. Unfortunately I felt like none of the hooks on this album were as good as those 2 despite there being multiple enjoyable hooks, so even without many expectations I was still left slightly disappointed.

This was another album which didn’t particularly have bad moments, but instead had lots of mediocre moments, primarily in relation to the production being quite basic throughout and J Hus not really changing things up enough to keep it exciting. There were however some highlights; I enjoyed the moments where J Hus was taking more of a storytelling approach on songs like ‘Big Conspiracy’ & ‘Love, Peace & Prosperity’, I loved the humour he incorporated at times on songs such as ‘Fight For Your Right’ & ‘Cucumber’, and I thought the production was even exciting at times, primarily the guitar solo in ‘Triumph’ and the reggae vibe of ‘Play Play’. I also thought each of the features were utilised well, although I feel the album could have benefited from a couple of solid rap features. I loved the contrast between the voices of J Hus & iceè tgm on the opening 2 tracks, thoroughly enjoyed the energy brought by Koffee on ‘Repeat’, and thought Burna Boy fit the reggae vibe on ‘Play Play’ perfectly.

So in summary I felt like this was a boring album overall, with more highs than lows, but nothing too spectacular at all. Coming in to this album I was hoping to see J Hus live up to the potential that he has shown in the past, and although I don’t feel like I got that from Big Conspiracy I at least still honestly feel like J Hus has a lot of potential. This album showcased his pleasant melodies, his catchy hooks, and his captivating voice and delivery, but unfortunately none of that was utilised as well as it could have been. In the end, I don’t think I’ll come back to this album in full but It’s kept me impressed enough that I’m interested in seeing what J Hus does next.

Final Notes

You can stream Big Conspiracy on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or you can listen to it in full on YouTube here!

‘No Denying’ Music Video

My Favourite Songs were ‘Fight For Your Right’, ‘Fortune Teller’ & ‘Reckless’.

What were your favourite songs from Big Conspiracy?

For anyone familiar with J Hus’ past work, what else from his catalog is worth a listen?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

One thought on “First Impressions: J Hus – Big Conspiracy

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