Standing in sharp contrast to the blinged-out extravagance of another New York rapper who shares his initials, J-Zone is a well-realized and often hilarious caricature of life on the opposite end of the economic spectrum. In between attempting to romance the neighborhood women with trips to new French restaurant La Chateau Blanc (that'd be White Castle) and haggling over a parking spot with his prickly grandmother, the compulsively self-effacing Zone obsesses over his broke-down ride ("5-$tar Hooptie"), stubbornly demands money for freestyles ("Fuck You, Pay Me"), and laments the fake gold chain hanging around his neck ("Bling Around the Collar"). Although there's a high punch line quotient here, Zone's alpha dog sex raps, lame sexist digs, and barely above average flow eventually start to wear thin; that's when his production saves the day. Twice as talented an arranger as he is a rapper, Zone turns in some spectacular backing tracks here - from the twerky bump of "5-$tar Hooptie" to the flamenco guitar-led slice and dice of "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" to the delicate and exotic "Ho Kung-Fu," it's obvious that he's a considerable talent as a producer. Although uneven and occasionally leaving something to be desired on the McIng front, there's lots to like about $ick of Being Rich - check the aforementioned "5-$tar Hooptie" for evidence of how good Zone can be when his jokes and his production are both hitting their marks.
The 2 Bit Club
Fuck You, Pay Me
38th & 8th
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Too Many Babie$
Le Chateau Blanc
Bling Around The Collar (Fake Gold Chain)
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