"Vain" by J.A.F

This sounds like a throwback for the ages! A little something for all the Hip-Hop heads.


Shiloh Ci | B.O.M.B Writer

4/23/20233 min read

Welcome to another B.O.M.B Exclusive Music Review! Hope you’re all doing well. Today, we’re reviewing an album by the ILL Hip-Hop artist J.A.F, titled “Vain”. This album captures a range of subjects and emotions. It’s structured with hard beats, packed with soulful samples, and takes some inspiration from another elite emcee, Joey Bada$$. Let’s dive in. But first, a few words from J.A.F himself:

“Vain is a project filled with pain, inspiration, and triumph, as it highlights me overcoming many self-inflicted obstacles involving the comprised stories of others I hold dear in my life. Songs such as 'Don't Lose’ and ‘You Got It’ are key songs to my personal make-up as they highlight my depression and the love backstory of my mother. Through listening to Vain you can feel the anger and sadness through my lyrics, noticing the growth I’ve achieved as an artist and vocal mixer.” - J.A.F

The first song, “Cops”, launches off with a hard-hitting, classic hip-hop beat. This beat captures the very essence of the childhood of hip-hop. Sharp snares, boomin’ bass, and jazzy samples are thrown in the mix. I think this beat is perfect for the subject matter, which acknowledges today’s volatile justice system and policing in the United States. Very deep and introspective lyrics here. One line goes:

“It’s getting really real out here / Shit’s getting really real out here (It ain’t easy, it ain’t easy..)”

You can hear the nod to Joey in this line alone. Only the context has been switched to mean it’s getting worse out here with the police. The song ends with these powerful lines:

“How you ever claim what you say? / How you ever gonna claim what you do? How you ever gonna claim what you for, / when we all know that shit ain’t true? How you ever gonna claim that we safe, / but the bullet never aim at you? / How you ever gonna claim what you for, / but you always tryin’ to hide the truth?”

“Don’t Lose” is a deep song with lyrics to match. J.A.F urges others to not succumb to suicidal thoughts and instead, push through them and shine as bright as they can. If not for yourself, for everyone who loves you. The samples in this song are like gold in soundwaves.

“Don’t lose, don’t take your life / Don’t lose, don’t take your life / So don’t choose to end your life / Let your light shine bright...”

As mentioned at the beginning, “You Got It” is a song dedicated to J.A.F's mother. This song touches your heart and the guitars combined with the piano are just a heavenly combo. He praises her for everything she did as a dedicated, independent mother.

“Girl, with your hair tied up, / you don’t think about yourself, but your kids dressed up /

Run around sayin’ that you happy for us, / to keep your kids, meaning that you happy enough...”

This album was an incredible listen. I really like how it all comes together to tell this whole story with smaller ones within, as stated by J.A.F earlier. If you’re an older fan of hip-hop, this album will take you back to glorious times. Even for someone who isn’t in tune with classic hip-hop, you’ll still find appreciation in the lyrical ability of J.A.F and the overall production and replay value of the album.

This album was so sick. Projects will be reviewed based on sound quality, production, artistic skill, creativity, and originality. I’m gonna rank this project five out of five Diamonds. 💎💎💎💎💎

Check out the album on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0VJMygh66CfTfLRTj74qsb

Follow J.A.F on Instagram: @j.a.f_official https://www.instagram.com/j.a.f_official/

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