J’Moris is the kind of artist who really knows how to create the right vibe. Assuming it’s summertime, you’re enjoying the outdoors, and you’re happy to be alive. Otherwise, this song might be a little abrasive, with a sunny soundscape of high trilling flutes and wispy synth riffs, muted subs, and shallowness to the low end that makes you feel lighter somehow. Vocals are rich in tone and cadence, and the melody hits you before the words do, inspiring a feeling fit for carefree days in the sun. J’Moris is an unlikely artist to make such untroubled music, as his upbringing and life thereafter was reportedly always a struggle. Hailing from Hillsboro, Texas, by way of Fort Worth, J’Moris claims to be no stranger to the hardships inherent to street life. However, his endurance and triumph over the pressures of his environment have culminated jovially into his latest project, a two-track E.P. entitled K.O.T.H., an acronym for “King of the Hill.” The first song on the Ep is the title track, and track two is called “Ball.” In this review, we will be looking at the title track, “K.O.T.H.”
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The production (by Supamario Beats) is thoughtfully done in this song and is probably the most accomplished part of the whole thing. A high pitched flute makes up the melodic lead and brings the summer vibes J’Moris was shooting for. This was popularized by artists like Lil Yachty in the summer of 2017 and 2018, and the flute in this song is reminiscent of the one used in the chorus of Lil Yachty’s “Broccoli.” Drake’s song “Portland” also comes to mind, in terms of similar usage of the flute in a hip hop song. “K.O.T.H.” very successfully uses a flute as the main lead in the song. It isn’t overpowering in the mix and isn’t sitting so high that it drives you slowly mad as it loops. It leaves the right pocket for vocals, which sit wide and warm, but not over-saturated, in the mix. High Hats follow the trap standard of fast, erratic, and constant. The higher-then-standard pitching on the 808’s keeps the low-end un-muddied and lends to that overall bright sounding mix which seems to directly translate to our concept of what summer sounds like. J’Moris’s flow sounds like it’s hoping to land somewhere in the likeness of Gucci Mane, and the closest match that came to mind was Gucci in his song (featuring Drake) called “Both.” J’Moris could probably get it to be an even closer match with a little fine-tuned production geared towards that specific vocal nuance. As it stands, his vocal cadences and flow style are a bit closer to Y.F.N. Lucci (think “Everyday We Lit” featuring PnB Rock). In terms of lyricism, J’Moris hits a reasonable compromise between lyrical and the new wave which focuses more intently on flow repetitions and melodic cadences than actual verbiage. It seems J’Moris tries to do a little or both here. It probably won’t be lyrical enough for someone who holds lyricism as a prerequisite for liking any song, and it probably won’t be repetitious or melodically-catchy enough to satisfy those who only want a catchy flow and some really infectious ad-libs. However, for those who just like a song when it sounds good, or when it makes you feel good, this one might hit the mark.
Still, J’Moris is a talented artist, leagues above most of those in his chosen niche of the genre. There just aren’t that many artists relying primarily on the melodic backing of a flute and making songs that you only want to play at the beach. Like Christmas trees, the problem with music like this is it’s highly seasonal, and won’t have much listenability past the few months it’s made to belong in. J’Moris clearly has the capacity to do excellent work, though. If he branched out from this sound, I’m sure with a little trial and error he could find another mood to set his music to, perhaps one that is palatable year-round. He appears to have dabbled in a more standard trap-style, evidenced by several of his song releases predating this one, but it looks like he has pretty much settled on this particular style as his primary one now. That is likely to be the only real hurdle for J’Moris as an artist, as he seems to be on point for the market he is trying to appeal to. But, he’ll need to broaden his sound pallet some if he wants career longevity and any real notoriety in the game.