Jean Grae is the best female emcee in Hip-Hop. In an age where your sexual appeal is more sought after than your lyrical skills, Jean Grae comes blasting through the door with an immense amount of talent, variety and originality. She can rhyme with the best of them and that is not just including the ladies, as Jean has indeed proved herself to be one of the finest underground emcees. “The Bootleg Of The Bootleg” is even more proof that Jean is growing as an artist every day, as the six track EP is a representation of Jean’s overall talent.
“Hater’s Anthem” is a vicious battle influenced track that pits Jean riding the track gracefully while throwing razor sharp lyrical daggers left and right. With her wacky and humorous yet rugged and insightful lyricism, Jean proves that any man or woman will have trouble even coming close to her on the mic. Not many emcees can provide a lyrical gem like Jean does on “Hater’s Anthem” and it’s about time the rest of the industry starts taking notice. “Code Red” featuring Block McCloud & Pumkinhead and “Take Me” are more battle influenced tracks from Jean that offer her usual brand of lyricism. Both feature solid production; even though the sounds of “Take Me” have been recycled before.
But battle tracks are only a small portion of Jean’s arsenal, as the woman can truly do it all behind the mic. “My Crew” is an amazing look inside the more personal aspect of Jean’s life, as she discusses love, relationships and heartbreak throughout her crew. Which is all done over a beautifully produced track and a perfect vocal sample, which just adds even more emphasis and flavor, making “My Crew” the album’s finest cut. Even more originality can be seen on the storytelling tales of “Chapter One: Destiny”, as Jean plays the role of a criminal on the run, only to have the story end like a choose your own path book. Other standout efforts on the album can be seen from the Cannibal Ox collaboration of “Swing Blades” and the 45 minute megamix of various freestyles.
Whether it’s spitting ferocious battle lyrics, insightful gems or storytelling anthems, Jean Grea can do it all. She is an emcee that is not only heads and tails above the rest of her female counterparts but one that can spit with the best men in the game. With each album the legacy of Jean Grae grows bigger and if things run their course who knows, maybe she can turn things around for the overall picture of a female emcee.