J Hus - 'Big Conspiracy' Album Review
Updated: Mar 8
By Danny Dodds
One of the biggest shames and regrets in my entire life was not listening to J Hus' Common Sense when it released in 2017. I remember the buzz but being the naive and irritatingly stubborn man I was, I dismissed it as another cash in on the UK rap trend without even giving it a listen. Going back to it now is embarrassing for me as it contains so many modern UK classics like the G-funk and west-coast influenced title track to the garage heavy 'Plottin'. With my recent newfound respect and love for J Hus, I had high expectations for 'Big Conspiracy' and while it doesn't have as many instant classics as Common Sense, it boasts another landmark album in UK rap, cementing J Hus as one of the most versatile artists in the genre.
Listening to Big Conspiracy ends up feeling like a game of Guess Who as J Hus switches up his voice and energy more frequently than a Wu-Tang track, effortlessly blurring the line between his smooth-sung hooks and his hard-hitting verses. Often times the two modes cross over like on the fantastically frantic 'Love, Peace and Prosperity' as maintains his smooth singing voice across the entire track. I think it's this skill that makes every J Hus song so inexplicably smooth, supported of course from the best producer Britain has to offer right now, JAE5.
Any fans of the genre will go wild at JAE5's admittedly jarring producer tag at the start of every song as the British sensation flexes his creative muscles from the afroswing-influenced 'Play Play' brought to life by Burna Boy's infectious hook to the smooth as butter, jazzy opener 'Big Conspiracy'. JAE5's has had his paws on the UK music scene for a while now, and this album cements his position at the top spot as beats like 'Reckless' and the phenomenal 'Must Be' blissfully encompass Hus' voice.
J Hus' voice manipulation and JAE5's swooning production make up the majority of the greatness that can be found in Big Conspiracy, but unfortunately a few tracks stop the album from greatness. Songs like 'Cucumber' and 'Helicopter' seem a little by-the-numbers and should be below J Hus' weight class at this point but he makes up for it with sensational bangers like 'Triumph' with J Hus seamlessly switching modes from the sweet and sweeping hook to the hard hitting verses alongside the bouncy, dense beat. Because of this, the impact of Big Conspiracy feels like a drop compared to the cultural splash of Common Sense, but that shouldn't detract from it's appeal, as thankfully Big Conspiracy sees J Hus back where he should be, in car stereos and speakers across the nation.
Listen to the album below: