Washington, D.C. rapper J Ru recently released his brand-new album, XIV XXVIII, essentially a 14-track autobiography covering the artist’s struggles with depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and self-image issues. Through music and the gym, like Rumpelstiltskin turning straw into gold, J Ru altered negatives into positives.
J Ru explains, “Music has been a driving force throughout my entire life, right from the very start. It’s both core and vital to who I am as a person. It took forever and a half to put all the pieces together, but my latest release,’ XIV XXVIII,’ gives you insight into who I am as a person and provides some life stories if you scratch beneath the surface. The project is also specifically designed for you to draft away, turn the volume up, and bob that head. The economy of words and infrastructure of them on the album is something I’d like for you to pay special attention to as well. I hope you’ll take some time to go and listen to this daydreamer. Peace and Love, J Ru.”
Speaking subjectively, entry points on the album include the aptly titled “The Opener,” featuring eerie, low-slung tones riding a potent beat. J Ru’s nasal rapping flow takes on gravelly timbre, giving the lyrics solemn essence.
“Undiscovered” opens on orchestral strings topped by a luminous voice, followed by the entry of the thumping kick-drum and J Ru’s noteworthy vocal flow. Smooth and polished, “Throwin’ Jacks” emanates hints of delicious R&B, along with adroit rhymes.
“Like Bob” blends bluesy savors with a measured rhythm, whereas “The Crown” showcases oozing, R&B, and soul textures atop a contagious rhythm. Plush female backing vocals give the tune posh sonic layers, like brushed velvet.
The last track, “The Closer,” reflects the ghostly colors of “The Opener,” only more unnerving. As the song culminates with echoing lyrics – “J Ru” – listeners apprehend the intimate nature of the album.
With XIV XXVIII, J Ru offers swanky hip-hop, powerful rhythms, excellent rhymes, and his luscious, glutinous flow.