When it comes to intelligent, forward thinking and eclectic hip-hop, the name Jahan Nostra as one of the more prominent emcees with this title becomes a no-brainer. Jahan, having been writing verses and slaying beats since he was a teenager, has already made a name for himself with a number of professional grade albums and releases. From releasing 2012's Bedtime Street album, and after releasing 2013's Sleepwalking LP, Jahan has made moves in directions both up and down the East Coast, touring in locations such as Newport and Providence Rhode Island, Brooklyn and New York City, and Greenville and Columbia in South Carolina. Now in 2016, ESP marks one of Jahan's greatest achievements in hip-hop storytelling and songwriting.
A modern "real hip hop" masterpiece, ESP by Jahan Nostra reminds us the most important thing in the game of hip hop is a love for the art and for each other. ESP, which stands for "extra sensory perception", is probably what we all need now more than ever, as we are thrust into a world full of social networking, smartphones, and news feeds. In only the past decade, society has drastically changed, and the argument for better or worse is yet to be determined, and with the full range of emotions expressed through ESP's mesmerizing 16 tracks, they help remind us that we are all humans beings feeling the common struggle no matter how diverse or intense the experience, and the immediacy of Jahan's lyrics reach straight for the heart and soul.
The albums opening intro track wraps up the mood and tone, and describes the feeling of ESP as a basic summary of life. The first few opening numbers is the true essence of Jahan, with "Welcome Home", a classic new and improved comeback track after the 3 year break from Sleepwalking, "Embrace the Rain" featuring Puma Simone, a reminder to take what life gives and work with what you have, and the change-up mantra of "Vitamin D", which mocks the materialistic nature of our society and puts the essentials of life first and foremost.
"Whole Life (Cruisin')", featuring Tone Trump, takes the tempo down a notch to illustrate Jahan's smooth flow, describing life as a ride and a call to go with it in the chase for greatness. However, when "Living Your Life" featuring Omar Wilson comes on, you can't help but feel the chills as this godly track makes an impact on your mind and heart. How many hip-hop tracks are as or more uplifting than the gushing positivity of these men who are no doubt living their lives in humbled bliss? The rarity of Jahan and Omar's sincerity is one of the true standouts of ESP.
The next few tracks also start up another insanely eclectic flow from song-to-song as well, with the anthem of living day to day in "One of Them Days" featuring Rey Vega, a shoutout and tribute to past jazz legends in "No Stress" featuring the prominent Smif n Wessun, the freedom chant of the shiny, synthy "El Chapo" feauring Ceschi, and the will to prevail and survive in this f'd up world that we live in, in "Time" featuring Kyro and Wednesday Atoms. The cerebral moments go on and on with real meaning and no fluff on Extra Sensory Perception.
Jahan is an amazing hip hop artist because he for the most part keeps it positive and clean, which is what this genre needs. It's a rare quality that has the ability to uplift people, and paired with amazing production and lyrics, there couldn't be a better feeling while listening to ESP, which is essentially one of the most human albums in the hip-hop genre. As technology accelerates and forces us to change at an alarming pace, ESP will stand in the years to come as a true testament to the human potential and our shared desire to feel loved and connected to one another.
ESP - 5/5