Jake Rosh is about to drop his second album, one that is self: produced, written, recorded, and engineered.
It’s been five years since the release of his debut, The Sample Life, and the question is, was it worth the wait? Well, we start with ‘Hydra’, a slightly ominous introduction that opens by telling us, “We have angered the gods…” and Rosh unleashes the monster that is Hydra on us. The intro quickly makes way for the first full track. ‘Rare Breed’ a song that is as much about survival as anything else.
Rosh spits at us that, “I was built for the war of life / My resilience got me through haunting nights” and talks about his past demons overcome with age. Though his stark message at the end lets us know he’s “Done with surviving!” and looking for something more.
Next up, we have ‘Tusken Raider’, a song where you can clearly hear Rosh’s passion and ferocity. ‘Green Light’ comes straight up after and has a more mellow vibe musically, although lyrically, it’s no less fierce. A family affair, the tune features Rosh’s younger brother, Left – Blank. A more contemplative song, we start to see something more in Rosh’s musings, something more conscious.
This consciousness flows from one track into the next. ‘The Wrong Business’ is a remunerating song about other rappers. More specifically, their journey to try and “make it,” expecting riches and fame only to find it is not that easy. It’s in this song that he challenges the tropes behind the image of Rap music.
Rosh tackles the cliches head-on when he says, “Rap has got a stigma attached, until I’ve removed it I can’t begin to relax; people think of brainless egos, shooting guns chasing cash; rap has potential for educating the mass.” At this point, you can be sure that this album is shaping up to be something more than it professes to be, and that’s a good thing.
‘Therapy’ tackles toxic masculinity amongst other things, including a more in-depth take on fighting more of those demons he’s head leaning over his shoulder in yesteryears. Similarly, ‘Loser’ tracks back over his past spit on top of a beautiful female voice easing our mind in the background. Tracks like these are the real gems on this album, proving that even listeners who are not fans of rap music can enjoy this album’s stand-out songs and relate to them.
These stand-out songs include ‘Breathe’ and ‘Suicide Note’ tracks designed to tackle difficult mental health issues, loss, and growth, helping others learn from Rosh’s own experiences. ‘Nowhere is Safe’ featuring Dominic Dunn is a wonderful song. It showcases Rosh’s ability to talk about more than his own life and extend his awareness to the world problems that we see every day or look past in denial.
This record is one that fans of many different genres can enjoy if they’re into good lyricism. Although it starts out as you would expect, it develops into a well-rounded project that jumps out of the box. Hydra will be released on March 19 on all the usual streaming platforms. A limited number of physical CD copies will also be sold via Bandcamp.