East London rapper/producer Jay Prince released an 8 track mixtape last Friday. Smile Good is a mixtape that resembles it’s own title; it leaves the listener feeling happy. Elements of Kanye, Chance, and Kendrick are echoed throughout this album. Take the song “Episodes” for example. Prince’s flow and voice have Kendrick components embodied within it. A jazzy piano riff and muted trumpet give the song its laid-back structure, while Prince delivers down tempo verses that gradually get slower and slower.
While “Episodes” holds a laid-back theme, songs like “Father, Father” and “Squad” show the complete opposite. “Father, Father” was the first single off this album and my personal favorite. Prince spits soulful verses about his struggles being broke, women, and temptation, but giving it his all no matter what. A sped up choir accompanies the hyped beat, making it one of the catchiest songs on the mixtape. “Squad” is another hype song, but delivered in a completely different way. With a heavy trap beat, Prince recruits Danny Seth and Michael Christmas to add some extra flare to “Squad.” Prince, Seth, and Christmas deliver grimy verses, while Prince also shows off his vocal diversity by singing the hook.
If you want a happy-medium between laid-back and hype check out the tracks “Where you Belong” or “The Beginning.” “Where you Belong” is an upbeat song with a nifty bass-line and twinkling synths that highlight Prince’s voice. “The Beginning” is similar in its production structure. Instead of a piano, trumpets lead the song building into an awesome beat filled with sleigh bells, staccatoed horns, and intense synths.
Smile Good is a mixtape with inviting lyrics, and musical originality. Jay Prince really hit the nail on the head with this mixtape as the Smile Good aesthetic is encompassed perfectly with each track. Jay Prince will be supporting Chance the Rapper when he heads to Europe for part of his tour. Keep an eye out for Jay Prince as his career begins to skyrocket even more.