Jim Jones Talks ‘Frienemies’ and Big Bucks on ‘Pray IV Reign’
Pigeonholing Jim Jones is about as easy as nailing Jello to the wall. The Bronx-born, Harlem-raised exec/rapper/promoter/playwright/ whatever else he wants to be seamlessly transitions through a number of different titles and responsibilities with an ease and aplomb that would leave President Obama impressed.
And if rapping, perhaps, isn’t the best-fitting of his many and varied hats, Jones is astute enough to surround himself with plenty of capable mic help and some slick production when it comes time to create an album, and his latest release, ‘Pray IV Reign,’ proves no different.
Partly constructed as the soundtrack to Jones’ two-day off-Broadway play ‘The Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones,’ Reign tackles a myriad of topics from the loss of friend and Byrd Gang crew member Stack Bundles (‘My My My’), stormy relationships with Cam’ron and Max B (‘Frienemies’), to flaunting all the gloriousness and success ‘Capo’ has achieved in his remarkable career (‘Na Na Nana Na Na’).
Recruited to help the musical cause in this, Jones’ most ambitious and inspired album to date, are the likes of No I.D., Chink Santana, Ron Browz, and Ryan Leslie. While Ludacris, Juelz Santana, NOE, and Rell help with some of the heavy lifting in the booth in the follow-up to Jones’ wildly successful 2006 release Hustler’s P.O.M.E.
The album hits high notes with the ‘How to be a Boss,’ ‘Rain,’ ‘This is the Life’ and ‘My My My,’ where the Harlem jack-of-all-trades confidently asserts: “They shootin’, so we must be on top” … a familiar place for Jones, who continues to defiantly fly high, above and beyond all labels, classifications, and expectations.