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Pray IV Reign

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Album Review

The three years between Hustler's P.O.M.E. and Pray IV Reign saw a slew of Jim Jones releases — mixtapes, Christmas EPs, plus LPs with his Byrd Gang crew — but there's little doubt that this is the proper follow-up to the album that gave the world the massive hit "We Fly High." One listen to the epic intro and it's obvious it also aims higher artistically, influenced by the passing of Byrd Gang member Stack Bundles, beefs with members of the Dipset crew, plus the creation of the man's off-Broadway production, The Hip Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones. Reign is basically the soundtrack to Monologues but it stands alone just fine, successfully mixing straight-up club anthems like "Pop Champagne" and "Na Na Nana Na Na" with much deeper numbers. Bundles is mourned on the moving "My My My," which features the perfectly Jones aside "I hope there's a Harlem in Heaven." A question mark must have been dropped off the title of "This Is the Life," as the rapper's unsure "There's no regrets in life/How's that sound?" rides over the background singers' hook of "Is there a Heaven for us?" Since it's directed at his son ("A miracle on Flatbush Avenue/I still made it back to say 'Push!' when she was havin' you"), "Rain" doesn't question these contrasts and presents them as the cold hard facts of life. It's affiliate NOE who really lays it on the line during "Rain," offering "Had to be a felon/Hated bein' pauper/Read the book of life/Satan was the author." Even with special guest Ludacris on the cut, NOE also wins on key track "How to Be a Boss," and as "Frienemies" addresses Jones' volatile relationships with Cam'ron and Max B, the grand victory of Reign becomes how well it shakes the past and presents the current Byrd Gang crew as true players. Success has always been Jones' revenge, and while his ringleader ways allow this autobiographical album to sometimes go wildly off concept, it's clearly his most inspired set of songs to date.

Customer Reviews

Jim Jones-Pray IV Reign

While Dipset hasn’t been as relevant as it used to, members Juelz Santana and Jim Jones have continued to build their own movements of Byrdgang and Skull Gang. Delivering his fourth album, Jones continues to establish his presence in hip hop with Pray IV Reign. Album Intro: Jazzy horns start off the album, as Jones reflects on the past and his upbringing in the game. Jones spits, “we was young, we was reckless, the nighttime would come, we was restless, some got arrested, made me some money how I wanted to get the necklace”. Decent intro that has a solid beat. 3/5 Pulling Me Back: Thumping production with light piano keys, Jones sounds good over the TrackSlayerz beat. Lyrically Jones is on point, Chink’s hook is decent, but overall Jones does well with the beat. 3.5/5 Let It Out: Strumming acoustic guitars with uptempo percussion keep the track from being too relaxed. With a calming hook, Jones rhymes about the lavish life and luxury of the good life by “letting it out” through material things. 3.5/5 How To Be A Boss: Decent horn and synth filled band marching beat, that features yet another impressive guest appearance from Ludacris. Jay-Z sound alike and fellow Byrdgang member, NOE is featured on the hook and drops a decent verse, but the track doesn’t fit with Jones, evident in Ludacris’ presence dominating the track. 3/5 Medicine: Merely a poor remake of “Jigga What, Jigga Who”, the beat isn’t nearly as effective and Jones falters lyrically. The hook is terribly done and the track is a skipper. 1.5/5 Frenemies: Jones spits about friends that turn to enemies. The track particularly addresses former Byrdgang member, Max B. Decent production and a mediocre hook, Jones lyrically sounds good, but the track is somehow only decent. 3/5 Precious: Ryan Leslie delivers some incredibly smooth production and singing, however the track seems mismatched with Jones. Jones’ smooth guy persona here doesn’t cut it, while Leslie dominates the track and it seems more like Leslie featuring Jones, as Jones drops cliches of the good life. Likeable track that doesn’t quite mash as well as it should. 3/5 Blow The Bank: Synths buzz and electronic effects join, while Oshy croons on the hook of “blowing the bank”. The track is a relaxed banger, however it is just a decent album track. 3/5 This Is For My B****es: Bluntly stating, “this is for my b****es”, Oshy’s whiny croon is bittersweet, while Jones uses his charming tough guy act towards the ladies. The production is a bit repetitive, as the synths interject going up and down. 3/5 Girlfriend: Lively C***k Santana production is really enjoyable, as he implements various instruments into a band styled beat. Oshy delivers a worthy performance, but its Juelz verse that ultimately impresses. 3.5/5 This Is The Life: Similar in style to “Blow The Bank”, Starr’s decent hook and the light thumping production is another reflective structured track. Loving the lavish life, the track isn’t bad. 3/5 My My My: Soulful hook and piano keys make for a solid tribute to Stack Bundles. Jones really expresses some pain and the reflection on the past is a truly heartfelt track. 3.5/5 Pop Off: Byrdgang members NOE and Mel Matrix join Jones for a street joint. Hard hitting beat and the repetitiveness of “pop, pop off” make for a decent street track. It is Jones’ partners in crime that sound good, as Jones’ verse is forgettable, but NOE goes in. 3/5 Pop Champagne: What is really appealing about this track is the unique beat from Ron Browz. While his autotune singing is bearable (more in the hook rather than the verse), Jones and Juelz capture the mood of the track. The knocking bass joins in and makes the track catchy, while raising horns uplift the track from its mainly rhythmic style. 4/5 Rain: Former Roc A Fella artist, Rell sings a soulful hook, as Jones and NOE speak about the struggle in coming up. Jones speaks about looking out for his son and keeping him “gun free”, while NOE describes his upbringing. 3.5/5 Na Na Nana Na Na: Mediocre club beat that is fairly hollow, twinkling synth keys and strings back Jones’ boasts. The track isn’t nearly as catchy as his past hit, and the elementary hook is completely corny. Bree Beauty adds the woman perspective, but overall the track is a very mediocre effort. 3/5 Pray IV Reign is ultimately a sign of growth for Jones. Lyrically he has come into his own and developed a better persona than the past, however this comes with experience in the industry. Recognition should be given to Jones for this, however, the overall product is really lacking for Jones. While Hustler’s P.O.M.E. wasn’t too impressive, it did showcase a few club bangers and hot tracks (particularly the club killing “We Fly High”), however with Pray IV Reign, there isn’t any track as good or with the potential of achieving earlier success. Harlem: Diary Of A Summer showed a solid album that flowed well, but didn’t have as good of lyrics. Anyhow, Pray IV Reign shows better lyricism, despite Jones not being that great of a rapper. Jones spends a great amount of time boasting of the lavish life, which is decent (“Blow The Bank”), but gets a bit dull (“This Is For My B****es”, “This Is The Life”) after a while. Acoustic “Let It Out” and “Pulling Me Back” are solid moments, while the mismatched “Precious” is more of a Ryan Leslie track than Jones one. “Pop Champagne” is a unique club banger, “My My My” is a worthy Stack Bundles tribute and “Rain” is a decent reflective track. Decent album, but still doesn’t move Jones into that next echelon of rappers. Something for any Dipset listeners, but other than that, leave it to the East Coast. Rating: 7 out of 10

this album is not good.

this album has only a couple good songs and they didnt include half the damn songs. dont buy this album

dam jones

dang man, dis whole album is full of bangin beats!!!


Born: 1976 in New York, NY [Harlem]

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with fellow Harlem-based player Cam'ron, Jim Jones founded the Diplomat label, home to the Diplomats/Dipset and many of that crew's prolific solo activities. Though more of a businessman and behind-the-scenes figure than an MC (he was also named a director of A&R at Warner Music Group in early 2005), Jones released solo albums in 2004 (On My Way to Church, which hit the Top 20 upon its August release) and 2005 (Diary of a Summer). The 2006 album Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment)...
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Pray IV Reign, Jim Jones
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