Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Every Friday, the Song of the Day podcast spotlights local musicians. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “The Truth” by famed local producer Jake One on his debut album White Van Music from Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Although Seattle has a flourishing hip-hop scene, only a few artists have achieved national, or even world-wide, status like Seattle producer Jake One. He’s worked with some of mainstream rap and hip-hop’s biggest artists (50 Cent, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes) along with some underground staples (Brother Ali, Freeway, MF Doom), many of whom stepped up to contribute to his first album. Born Jacob Dutton, Jake One grew up on Seattle’s Capitol Hill but has steadily found himself working with a diverse set of artists from all over while still maintaining a consistent style that bridges the gap between the past and present. His work with G-Unit (co-founded by 50 Cent) and several artists at Rhymesayers Entertainment (which features artists like Brother Ali, Grayskull, Boom Bap Project) has made him one of the top producers in the world and his beats much sought after, but White Van Music is really a vehicle for him to control a project from start to finish and shed a light on his cohesive style and immense talents. Today’s song, “The Truth,” features the gritty rhymes of Philadelphia lyrist Freeway, who originally laid down his verses thinking he would be collaborating with Kanye West and Jay-Z, but instead Jake One threw in Minneapolis-based rapper Brother Ali (read Pitchfork’s album review for more info). The result is a combination of vintage soul and gritty lyrics that speak of finally getting the recognition that is now a reality for each of these contributors as their talents have taken them to the next level, while also affirming that they’ve been speaking the truth all along.
Check out this video for “The Truth” featuring Freeway & Brother Ali: