Review; Johnny Quest, "Just John"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Johnny Quest has been a consistent contributor to the Lawrence hip-hop scene for nearly a decade, bringing his old-school lyricism to MC battles, Wax Clashes and local hip-hop shows.

"Just John" is Quest's most proper release to date, elevating his game to a level higher than the scattered mixed tapes and CDRs he's handed out to friends. He produced the album by himself with the exception of three tracks credited to MacLethal, Nezbeat and Miles Bonny. Guest rappers on the album include Joe Good of SoundsGood, Taha and I.D. of Archetype.

Quest extols the virtues of drinking, smoking and tagging on 13 polished tracks. His clear and focused delivery highlights humorous tracks like "Out Here": "I'm from the heartland, where we smoke cowboy killaz / And do drive-bys in 18 wheelers / I live right down the street from my Dillions / Let me know if it sounds familiar."

Quest's style isn't particularly innovative but it's authentic, schooled in years of allegiance to hip-hop culture and obvious passion for the art form. "Just John" expresses his intentions succinctly: "It's just John / It's all me / There's nothing more I ever wanted to be / Make beats, DJ and MC / And have a whole crowd of people screaming for me."

Johnny Quest Out Here

Whether you're front row or at the bar, "Just John" presents a thick slab of heart-on-a-plate hip-hop. Serve it while it's hot.