Mr. J Medeiros Of Gods And Girls

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Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: culturally positive hip-hop
Others: Marco Polo, Exile, People Under The Stairs

If you have ever read any of my hip-hop reviews – particularly those pertaining to G Unit and Shady Records style gangsta-pop – you’d know I have absolutely no tolerance for socially poisonous, über-violent music that works only to roll back female, homosexual, and civil rights and replace them with an abject endorsement of materialism and bigotry. However, it’s important to know I don’t speak against this destructive Burger King-hack drivel out of envy of their vast fortunes or because I like to hate on people (which I do believe is 50 Cent’s job) or people of another color. Though I may be a painfully white, straight male, skin color and sexuality mean nothing to me except when people prey on those differences in order to line their own pockets. Scum like Eminem thrive in the excess of fulfilling emotionally confused young adult anti-women (What’s the matter? Can’t get a date?), homophobic, and uncompromisingly violent fantasies (just what America needs!), only serving to make them and theirs coin while the shortcomings of civilization become more pronounced and separate us even further.

I speak out against these artists because I believe music has a deeper impact on the collective conscience than most of us are willing to admit – although, advertisers certainly manipulate a great deal of it to imprint their messages – and that artists should treat this power responsibly, to be held accountable by the buying public for what they are and how they live their lives according to their music. I mean, what exactly did Slim Shady’s duet with Elton John achieve aside from ratings? John should have drop-kicked that little Detroit loser. I guess I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Enter class act Mr. J Medeiros, founder of The Procussions and hot off his appearance on Miami Ink. This plucky Colorado treasure is the good knight and reigning champion of responsible, image-shattering hip-hop. Known to his grandma as Jason (his granny making a supportive answering machine tape appearance here amongst his overdrawn bank balance and an apathetic manager delivering the news of his own failures), he is a man who doesn’t just use music as a potential tool for change, but lives it as a shining example. His art is merely a reflection of that. After all, what kind of music would you expect to be made by someone who volunteers heavily for AmeriCorps and Habitat For Humanity, as well as working with people afflicted by developmental disabilities? The standard trees and bitches tripe? Granted, his beats and those of Stro The 89th Key, 20Syl, and Joe Beats (Non Prophets) are essentially standard backpacker fare, but it’s the words and message that push Medeiros to the next level.

Where “Money” would be the typical vapid thug’s ode to shiny things, Pigeon John makes a special appearance to help Mr. J hammer home the idea that “the distance between what I want and really need is often further than I’d like to believe.” Where “King Of Rock Bottom” would be the bog standard MC stating his allegiance to a name-brand alcohol, be it Cristal or Courvoisier, Joe Beats lays down a typical hard-hitting, old school instrumental, lovingly enhancing the heart-wrenching tale of a man’s undoing under the vice of fire water. Jason knows “a large part of hip-hop’s identity has been formed through a consistent disregard to a woman’s civil rights.” So, to help, Of Gods & Girls’s most poignant track “Constance” sees him not begging for cooch like R. Kelly, but lending his voice to the tragic issue of human trafficking and child porn in the Philippines (the track is also remixed by Joe Beats as a bonus track). The video for this song was actually featured on a CBS Evening News special on the subject earlier this year.

Mr. J Medeiros is critical of the media, government, and all the ways in which we poison each other and ourselves physically and spiritually, yet, though he’s a devoted Christian, it doesn’t come off preachy like Sage Francis (Gawd love him). As such, Mr. J Medeiros is the true and ultimate antidote to what has become of mainstream rap. In his own words, “There aren’t a lot of traditional issues I talk about. I try to make music in a form to where people can take it as their own, instead of just talking about my experiences. I want my music to speak with dignity and inspire social change.”

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