Review: UH rapper excels in first mixtape
Black Friday marked the date that Houston rapper and UH petroleum engineering freshman John Patrick Egbo released his début mix tape “Juan Night Only” under the emcee name JohnyyP.
Hosted by DJ Fudge The Great, JohnnyP. — otherwise self-proclaimed as Juanito Samboomkid Ramirez Jr.—delivered a jam-packed 11-track project filled with motivational songs that aimed to inspire listeners, and musicians who brilliantly highlighted the rapping ability of the Foster High graduate.
The concept of these songs revolve around a freshman in college trying to find his way and do good, which translates well with the high-spirited, Christian vibe.
Based on beat choice and flow delivery alone, JohnyyP’s first impression shines through this mix tape. The boom bap, sample based instrumentals produced by Aisosa Pro, Young Sav and Money Myles breathe life into tracks like “Join to the Revolution” and “Live and Love.”
JohnyyP doesn’t break any new grounds in terms of his lyricism, but they’re catchy and more believable than many rappers starting out, especially in songs that draw attention to social issues.
“Definition of Beauty,” a song focusing on women and self-worth, is a great example of this. Lines like “She close her eyes and lay back like a praying mantis does / cause she don’t see the problem that her praying granny does. / And everyday these girls getting more fake / And their adding to their face but subtracting all their faith,” are indicative of the deep and witty wordplay that JohnyyP incorporates.
The mix tape has achieved the goal of composing feel good songs that have the potential to inspire listeners. However, there are some major drawbacks.
The cover tracks struggle to hold any weight and feel out-of-place. The complete package that JohnyyP geared towards seems unfinished with tracks like “Undeground Kings,” a Drake original and Lil Wayne’s “Welcome to the Zoo Freestyle.” With random lines and sub par feature verses from rapper Young Twyman, the latter of the two tracks acts as a filler and not an important piece of the set.
In contrast, “Blessed” is arguably the best cover track on “Juan Night Only” and the best track period. Coupled with an astounding feature verse from Reginald Helms. The track combines Schoolboy Q’s instrumental with lyricism pertaining to Christian views.
The cover tracks also make the mix tape feel short. Except for the eight minute “Appreciation” track that consisted of name-dropping and giving thanks, JohnyyP seems to fall short in the number of original songs in his arsenal.
Had the three cover tracks been replaced with more originals, “Juan Night Only” wouldn’t have felt so small and short-lived.
Despite this, the project is far from lacking. JohnyyP fits the bill of a rapper looking to motivate people around him and it shows in this project. “Juan Night Only” is fresh and welcome composition for those looking for spiritual guidance and change of pace.