Jimi Tent’s 2015 album 5 O’Clock Shadow made an instant impact on the scene. Widely touted as a torchbearer of the newly flourishing Brooklyn rap game, Tents raps with the poise and composure of a veteran and the raw emotion and energy of the young man he is. 5 O’Clock Shadow enjoyed a great deal of initial success across the country, driven by songs like “Elmer Fudd,” “Should’ve Called,” and Pitchfork-endorsed song “Landslide.” The album later enjoyed a renaissance of popularity spurred by Soulection Radio’s spotlighting of “Should’ve Called.”
The album’s longevity speaks volumes to its quality. That Soulection picked up “Should’ve Called” over a year after the release of the album is just as telling as the following influx of Tents’ popularity. This much was not lost on the astute young musician, who paid fan service by offering listeners a sequel to “Should’ve Called,” which debuted live on Pigeons and Planes’ Beats 1 Takeover.
“Should’ve Called pt. 2” bears an instant similarity to its predecessor. The keys that open the song are reminiscent of those in the previous “Should’ve Called,” as is the drum pattern that underscores it. This is not, however, a track for Jimi to sit on his coattails. Jimi starts at a breakneck pace, rapping tirelessly before breaking it down into a bouncy, infectious delivery. For anyone keeping score, Tents deliberately and deftly switches flows three times just before the one minute mark. Only then does he hand the mic over to long-time friend and frequent collaborator Sed, who bodies the hook that Jay Bel was responsible for in “Should’ve Called” part one.
Tents’ style benefits from its duality; at a purely surface level, his skills in delivery make the songs catchy, but it is at a more micro level that his lyrical ability is so impressive. Jimi is a rapper that is not afraid to open himself up. Divulging his vulnerabilities and anxieties, he flows from topic to topic, wrapping it all inside tidy wordplay and devastating flows.
“Should’ve Called pt. 2” is a very different song from the first. Tents show little evidence of looking back, invoking only one line from the original song: “They said my music isn’t sellable they’re sailing on that bulls**t, I’d rather sell em syllables instead of selling bulls**t, ain’t even at my pinnacle of penning all my bulls**t.” Jimi flips this in part two, saying “they said my music isn’t sellable I sold it I know that was bull.” This, in and of itself, is demonstrative of his progression in the last year. The confidence that Jimi has gained off the strength of his album, sprawling tours, and his growth as a musician are evident, and point towards his upwards trajectory as he gradually approaches the “pinnacle of penning all my bulls**t.”
Jimi Tents makes a strong start to 2017 with “Should’ve Called pt. 2,” and has promised more music to his listeners. Start being one as soon as you can. Stream “Should’ve Called pt. 2” on Soundcloud below.