Bar Exam: Jered Sanders – Hurry Up And Wait (Album)
A One Listen Album Review
How legit has God Over Money Records been in 2018? Release after release receiving numerous streams, reaching masses, and making an impact in hearts and lives. I’ve read they’ve got more coming for this year, but this Jered Sanders album comes at a lull in the momentum of hip-hop, in the dead heat of summer, and just at the right time. The cover art for “Hurry Up And Wait” for some reason reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s illustrator Ted Geisel, for the light heartedness of the art and the color choices. I’m thrown back to a more naive time in my life, and I appreciate this thoughtful art at first glance. Jered was one of my favorite artists from last year, so I’m anxious to press play on his GOM debut today.
Prelude sounds like turning to different tv stations. It lands on some tunes, and Jered brings some tight rhymes right away.
“I was up in the mall grinnin’ at all women/With small figures in sharp denim/And tall slippers the bra’s lifted/The bond’s gifted looking for victims/Spotted a youngin’ with a boom box he dropped on the mall benches/Signal me off to talk of a small venture/He started yappin’ hope to God he ain’t long winded/He told me he have some music to sell/He ain’t talking putting rugers through medullas like the usual hittas”
He’s got a gravely voice that is nice and easy over this southern vibe. Jered tells the story of meeting this guy in the mall, who ultimately takes Jered’s life after an intense conversation. It’s an outstanding start to the album.
“All Year/Daddy Duties” starts with a trombone sample just before the big bass drops. This is nuts. I can’t even type. There’s so much dopeness happening. Jered’s voice switches up throughout this track, he’s able to dig in a bit for intensity in spots. The hook is airtight. Halfway through the song, there’s a switch where we hear a southern preacher “the most resistant people throughout history to the grace of God are religious people.” The beat switches up, with a piano and boom bap texture. “When your father got a cross on his back for every sin in the world there’s nothing harder than that” His rhymes are so tough here.
One thing I have to say is that it’s been 13 minutes and I’m now on track 3. There’s so much packed into these first two tracks it’s a lot to digest. It’s hot nonetheless, but I’m not sure every listener is going to press play and be ready for that. The notion to skip to the next song might be really prevalent early in this project.
The music so far has been markedly different with each song. Here on “Go Outside” it’s driven by organs and electric guitars. J. Carter drops some solid vocals on this one. There’s juxtaposition here from the intense and big verses, to the peeled back soulful singing on the hook. “If God is for me who can be against me/With the spirit within me I’m feeling ten feet tall” Jered is spitting here about his desire to share his faith. He’s not scared because he’s got the spirit living in Him.
This theme of switching tv stations is nice. It happens at the right times in order to set up the next concept. Going into “I’ll Wait” in what appears to be a snippet from Sesame Street, we hear Elmo talk about learning patience. Some smooth piano comes in at the start, and Jered flows relaxed but picks up momentum as the song progresses. At about a minute in, the texture switches up underneath him. Wow, and just as I’m settled into this dynamic change it’s pulled back once more for the hook. “They say good things come to those who wait” I love the direction here. The song brings the pay off along with the concept of being patient. The way this track started was nothing special, but the further down track we get, it’s more dope.
“I’ve been trippin/everybody winning but I’m probably sinnin/I was lookin at the numbers I ain’t gettin/I could sell tix but without the king guess I’m Kyrie with it/Life without the heir guess I’m Scottie Pippin”
The rhymes are intricate, the pictures he paints are full of inspiration, and his concepts are absolutely on point.
“Different” begins with the hook. It feels great. The instrumental might contain the same sample that was used for Scarface’s “On My Block” and I’ve got no problems with this. There’s a screwed up voice that is thrown in on the hook section. I am here for this song. These features are off the charts.
Breana Martin sings right at the top of “Eyes.” “I’ve got eyes on the back of my head/I don’t need a bullet proof vest cuz I can see you from miles away” It’s fascinating to me how all of these songs fit together because of the creative choice to sprinkle in these little snippets that sound like tv shows. The songs don’t sound like they all belong on the same project but with the common thread of these stations being switched it all comes together quite well. Topically Jered is talking about hypocrisy and how Christians often stab each other in the back. It’s a culture of a bunch of people who say one thing and do another.
“I had to pay attention/everybody not your friend/got my momma’s intuition/who not clapping when you win/man I’m just praying God forgive them/ya’ll be clappin’ at your kin/man ya’ll hopin and you wishin’ I be falling back again”
“Long Way To Go” is straight up hyped. It’s got some bold in-your-face rhymes at the top, heavy hi hat and big synths layer into the music bed. Jered sings his own hook here, and it’s tremendous. With each bar that’s shared, the song gets even bigger. The last verse is fast paced and he busts out some double-time flows. Fantastic.
The top of the next track, “Fear of Flying” is ominous. The progression and the climbing synths sound like they’re from a horror movie. Jered is sharing his struggles, speaking of the thorn in his side and the ending of this track hands off well to the next track. “You ain’t really scared to fly/You too busy trying to fall down”
These two tracks, “Fear of Flying” and “Fear of Falling” fit together quite well. They sound like the ying and yang of each other. “Wrestling with gravity/loving my depravity/I refuse to let that be my reality” Phil J stops by for a hook. Jered has perfected his flows. He moves effortlessly across whatever texture is thrown at him. The instrumental here is a JAM. Like I could ride out to only this. The production and the switch to the screwed up vocals at the end put this song on the top rung.
There is so much space at the end of that last song, that it’s no surprise to me that Jered jumps right in at the top of “Rain On Me.” Right away he’s painting the picture of watching his grandmother in bad health still praying, full of faith. Now he sees himself in the same light. He won’t ever give up on God, let it rain. He says a lot here about the God who is still on the throne even amidst all the turmoil in our country when it comes to politics, racism, and prejudice. Sonically there’s a lot going on here, from samples tucked into the background, to Jered’s singing voice and his flows, to this driving drum kit beat. It’s a lot to take in but it’s well done.
On “Get Money” Jered is once more coming at it with a relaxed flow. He really puts you to ease and is all around appealing to hear. It’s great to know, because as he brings rhymes you at a comfortable level, there’s still some depth and wisdom in the bars.
“A little different from what I was writing before dog/I’m verse-a-tile like I’m fighting the floor dog/Figured it was all about the light and the tours dog/Thought the pen game had the lightning of Thor dog/Then I realized it’s not a true place if I ain’t buying a mall out or dropping blue faces/Everybody plotting all of the bank/Ask Moses/Crazy how the whole staff turn into snakes”
Jered goes on a bit about how in order to be successful and provide for his family he feels the need to have money, but it’s not the end-all-be all. “You don’t need a dollar when you know you rich at heart”
Wow I love the snippet from the movie “Just Friends.” Anna Farris cracks me up with her antics and her ridiculous songs in that movie.
Jered pens the first verse of “Strangers” as a letter to God, and it’s mostly over some organs just before the beat lays in. He’s candid about his struggles, and how he’s not perfect without any doubts. Sean C. Johnson brings the soul here on the hook, asking “can we start all over again?” God is always faithful to forgive and bring us second chances.
Another tv station changes, we hear a sermon snippet just before the intro of “Faithful.” Joey Vantes joins Jered for some auto tuned vocals. The instrumental has some 90’s slow jam textures to it. Jered has plenty of room here to do his thing.
“Lord You’re doing so much for me/this ain’t never been luck to me/You don’t promise that luxury.”
Compared to the other tracks present on this project this one is pretty repetitive. The topic is centered on the faithfulness of God and doesn’t stray from that idea. These last two tracks are a little slow and the project is losing steam for me in this spot.
The final song of this album, “Hurry Up And Wait/Mitchell & Blessed” features Jered rhyming over a piano. As a simple beat drops in, he seems to be reminiscing over his life. JG lends a melody for the title theme “Good things come to those who wait/so be patient.” He’s split up tracks in halves a couple times on this album. Each time the tracks are separated by one of these small tv-tuning snippets (I’m pretty sure this is Steven Furtick here.) I talked a bit about this earlier, and how it adds some cohesion throughout the project. However, I’d say when thrown in the middle of a track like this, they might as well have gone to the next track. This finale goes for nine minutes, and while Jered Sanders is an outstanding lyricist and radiates excellence, this one goes for just too long.
Man, this is an album that will leave you full. It’s that all-you-can-eat King Crab type of meal here. There’s a lot to consider when you hear his bars, his heart, and dissect the intricacies of Jered’s penmanship. The producers – “CLifeOnTheBeat, W, The Cratez, J. Dot Music, Marv4mo Beats, and a few others” did a terrific job at partnering with such a masterful emcee. “Hurry Up And Wait” will definitely be in consideration for album of the year. One beef that I had with this project though, and it’s something I hit on a couple times in my review. My problem here is with the length of the songs. It’s very nit picky but the hopes for recurring and sustained listening experiences may be hindered with so many skippable spots in this project. I guess I’ll just have to see how often I revisit this one.
Overall Rating: Above The Bar