|The Jacka keeps his street game tight|
Whoever said hardcore Bay Area gangsta rap is dead underestimated The Jacka - which is a very bad move. The founding member of the Mobfigaz--straight outta Pittsburgh, y'all!--cracked the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of January 31, 2009, landing at #91 with his latest release The Street Album (a mixtape collaboration hosted by fellow CoCo County native Von Johnson, better known as KMEL's Big Von).
Sure, the album's title may seem a bit redundant--to be perfectly honest, everything The Jacka has ever put out is a "street" album, ya smell me? But it just goes to show you that, for better or worse, thug life never dies. Remarkably, his latest single "Crown Me" -a bangin,' reggae-inflected track which rides a Sizzla sample--is the fifth to be released from The Street Album. That's significant when you consider that few major-label projects these days go past a second single - and that most national releases peter out after their first week, while the Jacka has done the opposite with The Street Album, released last December.
The Jacka's invasion of Billboard also stands as a testament to the tried-and-true indie-label practice of grassroots buzz-building, at which The Jacka has few peers currently. The Street Album was the Jacka's 11th--yes, you read that correctly--project in 2008, and his PR touts the fact that he's accumulated over 4 million MySpace hits and appeared on over 100 albums in the last seven years. While we don't personally condone lines like "I move so much coke, n----/ I'll never quit," it's hard to fault anyone's hustle in this economy. Hopefully, clocking legal sales of his record will allow the Jacka to fully legitimize his entrepreneurship, if he hasn't done so already.