Jennifer Johns Painting on Wax
- Words: Eric K. Arnold
- Label: Nayo-Hiero Imperium
- XLR8R Rating: 8.5/10
Many R&B divas start their albums with mellow mood-setters. Not Jennifer Johns. She opens up Painting on Wax in full-on blaze mode, kicking old-school lyrical ballistics, segueing into sexy, sung harmonies, then topping it off with some dancehall business. That’s the first indication that the Oakland-born artist is different, but not the last. A collage of hyphy collabos, reggae- and world-inspired cuts, hip-hop love songs, poetic sensuality, and a torchy ballad or two, Painting on Wax covers a wide stylistic range. Guests Kaz Kyzah, Zion, Dun Dun, and Gift of Gab barely counterbalance Johns’ strong, confident presence, which goes from seductive to saucy to “slow down, ma, you killin’ ’em” in about 0.2 seconds. Forget Jenny from the block; make room for JJ from tha Town.
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