Jae Mottie, one-half of Jacksonville, Florida based hip-hop group N.E.S. (Never Ending Struggle) is a dual threat as an MC, producer and also mixes tracks. His solo debut album “GreenLights:GreySkies” showcases all these qualities as Mottie has produced 10 of the 15 tracks himself.
It takes a few listens to sink in, but on this album, Jae Mottie has pulled off a feat that rarely happens in hip-hop nowadays: he’s made a good an album that’s a masterpiece of subtlety. The lyrics, beats, and overall vibe of the “GreenLights:GreySkies” transcends genre as a whole. Each song is a day-in-a-life experience that can connect to every human, regardless of race, religion, financial status, or walk of life. In the mist of this, however, Jae Mottie stays true to who he is and his southern roots.
“GreenLights:GreySkies” has intelligent vocals, catchy hooks, strong beats and an almost magical flow. And then it has something else; an unusual characteristic that is so rare in hip-hop music these days – the sonics are so organic; it sounds like Jae Mottie is performing in the room accompanied by a live band!
Most importantly, producers Jae Mottie (and BeatsbyJake on two of the tracks) imbue these song with a Southern earthiness and spirituality that come across regardless of what Mottie is rapping about. Not that he shies away from rougher subject matter, but his perspective is grounded and responsible, intentionally avoiding hardcore clichés.
Jae Mottie’s distinctive vocal deliveries are mature, with a recognizable Southern rhythmic bounce. Every song is a gem in its own right, but my personal favorites are, “Good Momma”, “Reality an Allure”, “All My Life”, “We All Kings” and “Watch 4 the Angle”. These songs are musically challenging and at the same time make enjoyable listening, and they get better on each listen too. All throughout, Jae Mottie bombards you with positive thoughts and messages disguised under smooth soulful beats and excellently composed music.
This is that rare kind of album that you just put it into your player and listen all the way through from start to finish. The combination of music, lyricism and soul feels very refreshing, and in a commercial market overly saturated by untalented meteors, Jae Mottie shines as an artist with some substance; a breath of fresh air in the now-stagnant world of hip-hop.