Song Review: “Still Dreamin” by Willy Watts & Jake Jo

STILLDREAMIN

What happens when a white rapper who looks like Mos Def and sounds like Common collaborates with another white rapper who might as well be MF Doom’s protégé? This:


Emerging in a community where rock bands materialize rapidly, Will Augusta and Jake Johannesen bring a fresh flavor of musical talent to the cultural hub that is northwestern Connecticut. Both competent with conventional instruments (one of them used to front a Nirvana cover band… props to the commenter that can guess who) and versed in audio production, it is unsurprising that their rap-endeavor is executed with quality and craft.

As I understand it, the project arose when Will approached Jake with a beat from German producer connection zpu-zilla and the topic-question: what is your dream girl like? As a proud bootlegger of Jake’s demos, I know that this is far from his usual subject matter: the experience of writing and his frustration with shallow writing in the genre. Hearing him focus on an external theme is a pleasure; the listener can appreciate both his intricate writing style and his perception of the independent topic (rather than the two being one). He does manage to successfully incorporate his writing theme hallmark, though, as he reveals that his dream girl exists only in his composition:

Damn, I got that vision of my better half,
Too bad she only live when the pen and pad make a paragraph.
I’m dreamin’,
Can’t wait to fall asleep and tear that ass.

(“Tear that ass” being a sharp double entendre—in one sense: an expression for engaging, in another: pen-and-pad writing imagery.)

Backtracking to the first verse, Will demonstrates in this song that he has a voice made for hip-hop. His charming enunciation and far-from-whiteboy flow complement the beat and subject matter so appropriately you would assume zpu-zilla created the track specifically for him. But this is not the case; he’s just that good. The way he builds up to and over a break in the beat is irresistible:

When you on top you make the booty drop and don’t stop, [break]
You got me ready to pop.

Amidst suggestive lyrics like those are innocent and on-point thoughts about love that should make any listener warm with association. Preceding the above couplet is this one:

I need high school lovin’, when you first touch each other,
And then you can’t live without what you just discovered.

It is that experience—relating to a sentiment and admiring its clever expression—that so often draws us to hip-hop, that makes us feel satisfied while listening. Forget white kid from Connecticut, this accomplishment should be considered well done by any rap standards.

With such a successful product, we are left hoping that the aspiring MCs will collaborate in the future. A mixtape, perhaps? Or maybe even a live rendition utilizing friends The Nice Ones as a backing band? Until then, here are some other tracks you can enjoy from them:

Thanks for the entertainment, boys. Keep dreamin’ and we’ll keep listening!

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