First Impressions: Buddy & Kent Jamz – Janktape Vol. 1

Buddy is a 26 year old Californian rapper who started gaining traction back in 2012 through his frequent collaborations with artists such as Pharrell & Kendrick Lamar. Kent Jamz is a rapper from Atlanta who is most well know for his work as part of the rap collective Overdoz. The two rappers have collaborated a number of times in the past; starting with the THC song ‘futurebabymama’ In 2015 which featured both of them, followed by Kent Jamz featuring on the Buddy EP ‘Magnolia’ as well as his ‘Harlon & Alondra’ album and then on his 2019 single ‘Hollyhood’, and their final collaboration was as featured artistis on the BJ The Chicago Kid song ‘Get Away’. The two rappers reconnected early in 2019 at Dreamville’s famed ROTD3 sessions despite not appearing on any songs together on the final project.

On April 17th 2020 Buddy & Kent Jamz released their first collaborative project together, a 10 song mixtape titled ‘Janktape Vol. 1’. The tape features no additional artists and was preceded by one single in ‘She Think’. Below I’m going to review the project in two parts, first will be my observations on each track as I listened through, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream the album and some discussion questions at the end. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. She Think – Enjoy Buddy’s laid back flow and melodies at the start, his verse is enjoyable mostly but has some pretty average sections. Hook is real repetitive but is quite catchy and has sounds nice. Kent flows alright too, nothing too special. Song drags on a little, is just an average song overall

2. In Search Of – love the hard hitting bass and the pleasant synths in this. First 30 seconds is pretty boring, wish the song started earlier. Kent’s delivery isn’t too enjoyable, bars aren’t anything special either. Hook is repetitive again but I don’t like the melodies as much on this one. Second verse has some impressive flows but is basic for the most part and the delivery is average again. Do enjoy Kent’s melodic flows though. This one dragged on too, think it was just Kent on this, pretty average and forgettable song

3. Pass By Me – Interesting beat on this one, has a real summer vibe vibe to it. Hook has a nice melody but isn’t very catchy, is too long. Buddy has a great delivery on this, some solid rhymes too, flow has high points but is mostly basic. Hook is definitely way too long. Kent was okay on this, Buddy was a bit better, song was just mediocre overall though

4. Burberry Party – Beat is quite generic, has these atmospheric spacey synths but it’s nothing new. Hook is average, don’t enjoy Buddy’s delivery on it. First verse has some real solid rhymes and flows throughout, nothing too special but it’s consistently good. Second verse has more impressive flows and enjoyable rhymes/bars, a couple cringe bars too though. Just an okay song overall, hook was forgettable and nothing was too memorable

5. For The Ladies – enjoy the sultry guitar in this one, is an enjoyable beat overall. Hook is trash, the delivery is lazy and the melodies aren’t too great, boring hook overall. Kent has a decent verse with some of his best flows so far, and a couple of decent bars too. Nothing special but I enjoyed it more then most of his verses. Love the start of Buddy’s verse, has this real confident delivery but this real fun vibe to it too. Enjoyed the flow at first too but he didn’t change it up much at all throughout his verse. Song dragged on far too long too, could have done without the skit. Another song that was just okay

6. Terrified – love Buddy’s hook on this, simple but catchy little melody. Enjoy his verse too, rides the beat super well and has some really fun and impressive flows, great rhymes and consistently solid delivery too. Probably my favourite hook of the album so far. Really like the little melodic outro by Kent Jamz, sounds great and is a nice end to the song. Good song overall

7. Inconsistent – Some pleasant melodies from both Buddy and Kent on this, the two have great chemistry and both mesh perfectly with the mellow guitar-led instrumental. Unfortunately the song is super repetitive in every way and therefore doesn’t have much replayability. Nice track, but it felt like an interlude and isn’t one I’ll come back to

8. To The Grave – Beat has some real intriguing synths and this strange distorted bass that I love. Buddy has some impressive rhymes and great flows throughout his verse, really enjoy the vocal effects used at times too. Kent’s hook has a nice flow to it but isn’t too great and has a bit too much repetition for my liking. Kent’s verse has some pleasant melodic flows and he changes it up a fair bit but doesn’t do anything too special or memorable. Another fairly mediocre song

9. Bad Boys – Song takes way too long to get going, nothing exciting in the first 45 seconds. Kent’s flows aren’t too good and I think his delivery is unenjoyable on this one unfortunately. Buddy has a much more exciting verse with some interesting rhymes schemes and impressive variety of flows. Kent’s hook is real forgettable too, is repetitive without being catchy . Liked buddy in this but not Kent

10. Heatwave – Kent has some impressive rhymes and bars in this one, delivery is still a bit boring though. Buddy’s verse was a bit odd, seemed structured strangely or something, wasn’t too bad though. Not a bad song but not a good one

Album Review

Going into this project I was expecting a fun little tape with a number of enjoyable songs and some great performances from each rapper. Unfortunately I felt like it didn’t even meet those expectations, containing a bunch of average production and barely any impressive flows or lyricism from either Buddy or Kent Jamz. I’m not very familiar with Kent outside of his features, but I know Buddy is capable of incredible performances and songs and I felt like we didn’t see much of that potential on this tape.

There were a couple of promising moments on the mixtape but they were rare and inconsistent. The only song that I though was enjoyable all the way through was ‘Terrified’ which featured some beautiful melodies from Kent Jamz, some impressive verses from Buddy and a super catchy hook also supplied by Buddy. I also enjoyed the hook on ‘She Think’ despite the repetition, and thought the production on ‘For The Ladies’ & ‘To The Grave’ was varied and captivating. Apart from these minor praises though I felt everything else was pretty mid.

Janktape Vol.1 wasn’t a bad project, it was just boring and lacked substance. It wasn’t technically impressive but it also didn’t have the fun genuine vibe you get from a lot of collaborative projects. I felt like Buddy was weaker on this than on his previous 3 projects despite being the better rapper on the project. His raps were often generic with lazy flows and uninspired delivery, and aside from two hooks his melodies and hooks weren’t as catchy as they usually are. Kent Jamz was easily the weaker of the rappers and I felt like he was the main reason this album sounded bland, with his flows being simple and his delivery sounding amateurish at times. Aside from each artist the production was quite mediocre throughout, some songs dragged on too long or took too long to start, and some songs had far too much repetition. In summary the main reason I didn’t enjoy this is because it was just boring.

So in the end this was a real lacklustre little project which wasn’t too enjoyable to listen through. Buddy provided a couple of catchy hooks and great verses but Kent Jamz didn’t really wow me much at all in any of the 9 songs he was a part of. The project overall wasn’t too bad, but it was almost entirely forgettable and I can’t see myself revisiting it. If you enjoyed Buddy on this check out any of his projects from the last 3 years as they’re much more exciting than this!

Final Notes

You can stream the project on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or you can listen for free on YouTube here!

My favourite song was Terrified.

What were your favourite songs on Janktape Vol. 1?

Who would you have liked to seen featured, and on what track?

Are Overdoz worth checking out?

Thanks for reading!

– Shan –

One thought on “First Impressions: Buddy & Kent Jamz – Janktape Vol. 1

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