Jered Sanders is new to many people but he is by no means a new artist. In 2014, Allhiphop.com noted him as one of 75 of the top Indie/Underground artists of the year. When he got Saved and transitioned to the CHH side of things, Jered has been named a 2016 Rapzilla Freshman and dropped a couple of projects that have really gotten his name out there. Last year, he dropped the visual for “Shut Up and Rap (‘Murica)” and he really gained some views. Add in some amazing features, a relentless stream of music released, and here we are. The highly anticipated Nobody Famous dropped on January 27, 2017. Did the album live up to the hype and the expectations? Let’s find out.
Jered is a rapper’s rapper, meaning he has bars, the beats on lock and can go bar for bar with whoever. Mr. Sanders starts the album of with “Sum’n Goods Gonna Happen,” which has a nice steady somber beat with nice drums and Jered promises the listener something Good is going to happen despite all of the bad. Jered understands that as long as one has breath, they have hope for a better day. On track 2: G.E.S.W. (Grind. Sleep. Eat. Wake Up.), Jered flows over another very steady dreamy sounding instrumental. Jered speaks about the importance of grinding, but I appreciate that he mentions eating and sleeping. That is a Biblical way to work and many times people (even in our subculture) celebrate working to the point of exhaustion and skipping meals to pursue one’s dream. Track 3: “Nobody Famous” featuring Dee Black starts off with a woman’s voice giving the definition of what Jered means when he says he’s nobody famous. This song has some serious horns and drums, making this song sound epic. Being that this is the title track for this body of work, it makes perfect sense. There is no hook just the young lady further expounding upon man’s need for success and how we need to lay that down. Dee and Sanders go ham on this beat speaking on how low they are but how big God is in comparison to them.
Track 4: “Know about It” finds Jered and Ki‘Shon Furlow speaking on their childhood experiences. This beat sounds so old school and smooth with the guitar, chopped and screwed hook making it perfect for what these two wordsmiths are talking about. Jered recounted his childhood all the way up to when he first heard the Gospel. The next track, “Powin Up (The Spirit of Peer Pressure) features up and comer Shiwan. This is yet another soulful rhythmic beat and Jered glides effortlessly on this instrumental, and Shiwan provided an amazing feature verse as well. A very good song about the peer pressure to drink, smoke and how both emcees are familiar with that life style. Now that they are saved, they go bring their music back to those environments. This was one of my favorite songs on the project. Track 6: “Upside Down (Water)” is a fascinating departure from what has been heard on the album thus far because we hear Jered singing and he can actually sing pretty well! It’s surprising because in the current musical climate, a lot of rappers sing even when they don’t have the capability to do so. It’s quite refreshing to hear Jered rap and sing very well about people living like life is upside down. Now right is wrong and wrong is right as the Bible told us it would be.
Mr. Sanders tries something different on “Awww Man!” Jered uses a different vocal tone and cadence for this particular song, or at least the first two-thirds of the song. The sirens on the song make it sound as urgent as the topic of gun violence that Mr. Sanders is speaking on. Using made up characters, Jered paints a picture of the cyclical nature of violence in certain environments. Jered then switches back to his normal voice and flow on the last verse, as he mentions that he is as wicked as the next man but only God can bring him back. The next song is one of my favorite if not my favorite song on this entire project and it’s called “Heathen/ The Great Gift at Work.” I feel like Jered handles feeling like a heathen or unsaved better than most CHH artists. If we are honest, many of us feel more pagan than Christian but like the hooks says “but I still be believing though.” This instrumental is pure perfection from the Gospel sample at the beginning to the sample in the background that’s looped. The keys and how it is arranged to the switch ups, this song is perfection. Next we have “Daddy Duties 2,” a sequel to Daddy Duties from Hope Is Dope, and “Nevermind” where both songs give you an up close and personal look at the inner workings of Jered’s personal life.
We are rounding the corner towards the final few songs on this LP and the music is still as solid when you first hit play ten songs ago. The next three songs “Blessings,” “Smile,” and “Children of the Cloth” are a very nice run of songs. The song “Blessings” features Mouthpi3ce and Jeremiah Bligen over a very triumphant sounding beat speaking on how blessed they are to be living their lives. Our very lives are a blessing from the Lord and this song serves as a reminder. The song “Smile” finds Mr. Sanders and Eshon Burgundy talking about their home lives and how they want to make their loved ones smile. This song sounds super smooth from the soft drums to the slowed down samples to the chime sounds and Jered crooning smoothly on this beat. Eshon Burgundy featured on this song and his bars “I wake up early in the morning yearning for her/ she asked me if the kids were awake and I would have to concur/ see that’s not the type of morning I would normally prefer/ but that’s just how it is, romance gets destroyed by the kids/” really resonated with me. That’s definitely happened to dare I say every married man. Next “Children of the Cloth” just speaks about Christians and how we need prayer as much as the next person. As a hip hop fan, there’s nothing better than hearing a group of emcees attack an instrumental with their varying styles and watch it somehow come together. Jered gives us that on “We All God’s Children.” This song features Drique London, Evan Ford, Intalek, K-Hill alongside Jered Sanders and all these artists speak on how they and all of us are God’s children. This song just feels so good and has all the vibes. The last song “Jesus Cares” is probably the longest outro I have ever heard. Fret not, don’t freak out about that 14 minute and 15 seconds, I promise you won’t be disappointed. I won’t spoil it, but I admonish you to listen to this song all the way through, because it is something special for your ears and spirit.
All in all, I personally believe that Nobody Famous is Jered Sander’s best work to date and even though it dropped in the first month of the first quarter of the year, this project will definitely be a contender for the Album of the Year for CHH. There were so many nuances to this album and intricacies that let you know Jered really took his time on this project. At the end of every song there was some clip of media (speaker, T.V. show, etc.) that spoke on the theme of what the next song would be talking about, and Jered stuck to that this entire project. Jered said he made an album that he would want to listen to for the next few years and I believe he achieved that goal. I’m going to listen to this album for the duration of the year and beyond. The instrumentation and the lyrics will probably always be relevant and resonate with someone. If you are not familiar with Jered Sanders, then you need to do yourself a favor and get familiar. Jered’s Nobody Famous is the first highly awaited album that dropped this year and may have set the tone and bar for the music we will be expecting for the rest of the year. Get familiar!