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3 December, 2003@12:00 am

    “Breaks” can mean a lot of things. You had a tough break at work, you had a hard break with your mate, you like to sample drum breaks from old records, you’re a fan of Kurtis Blow’s “The
Breaks”. Jermaine Sanders of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to some extent uses all those semi-definitions in this, his first solo-debut album, aptly also titled The Breaks. Known to all as J. Sands from his double-trouble duo the Lone Catalysts with glib-touch production-manager J.Sands. People know Sands as the MC and J. Rawls and the man behind the beats, in this turn of events Sands man’s most of the production even bringing the oft soft-spoken Rawls up to the mic for a cut (the nasty, raunchy “Brains”). For fans of a Lone Catalysts effort, The Breaks will be a different experience. It’s rugged, at times off the beaten path, fun, funny and not to be taken overtly serious.

    “Manifest” (procured by K-Otix’s The Are) sizzles with a dirty back and forth juggle Blue Note to Brand Nubian, whatever you want, as Sands parlays that packed-apartment drunk-freestyle gathering to the tip top. With a velvety voice to make your mama cry, it’s not what he says but
how it sounds, and hopefully mom duke isn’t paying too close attention otherwise his lyrics kinda sting like girl who got the 40 poured over her grill. For much of the album is straight dogging ? and while topically Sands relies on realistic accounts, your wife and sister might not want to admit to being on that receiving end so eagerly. “N.A.B.’s (‘Nuttin’ Ass Broads’)” might remind you of a teenage Common but runs down the line of, to say the least, not-so-good relationships. That’s just to start, “Too Much Pussy” is a true throwback as Sands depicts a lurid party where he finds himself locked in a room 6 girls and he’s just “chillin’ stupid fly, because I got stupid gear”. Dibbling into the repercussions is “Dirty Dick” which is mildly more regretful for his infidelities but as a bachelor there’s really no need to worry. The collabo with partner Rawls gets busy, with a dirty Joe Tex chop setting a hilariously fun vibe for Sands and Rawls to kick the back and forth so EPMD you’ll be doing the cabbage patch in your seat immediately. Giving the concept that most of the album follows, I’ll let you guess what this song could be out.

     There’s been slash of over-critism in regards to this release, as some have claimed it an unjust follow-up at any of the much more mindful Lone Catalysts material, but it’s vital to relax your ideals a bit when taking this on. If you’ve never drank alcohol before, this would be a great album to start on. It’s simply a party within. You know all the beats, they’re all freaked with a drunken-exceptionalism and just right to take a load off and have a little fun. And remember, having fun is the unspoken 5th Element of Hip-Hop.   

  Mixtape D.L.
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