There are many factors in J’Moris’ debut full-length, Blac February, that create a complete package. Recurring themes of race, romance, family, and finances permeate the flow of lyrics, while skits shift gears and create — at least until the end — a calling-for-change unity.
For a record steeped in hard truths and difficult experiences, J’Morris finds places where he lets humour creep in. The record begins with a skit in which a voicemail is left asking for a repayment of a lent $7.13 ($11k with inflation, of course) and later, there is the almost 8-bit synth playfulness of “Say Whoa ft. Bellafonte”. “B.I.D.” brings images of partying in for a break in the unpacking of complex issues. Valentine’s Day as the hallmark celebration of February is held up as both important and useless against the more important distinction of Black History Month.
Despite the playful breaks, it is in candidness that J’Moris shines. “Venting” serves as an introduction to not only J’Moris, but to a domestic situation that continues through the album. “YEAH YEAH YEAH” carries an anxious, whirling melody and “Bleu Cheese” brings delicate and lofty instrumentation and juxtaposes it against ragged lyrics.
Though the album opened on a comedic note, the conclusion is far from light. Reparations are asked for in “Blac February” — the final skit — and “Letter To God” closes the album with a variation of The Lord’s Prayer that hones in on money and heartbreak. There is no doubt at the end of Blac February that resolution has yet to come. There is more work to be done.