The Jacka

The Verdict

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Following up his 2011 release The Indictment, 2012's The Verdict continues Jacka's conceptual trilogy of arrest records, all of them following the Bay Area rapper from the streets to jail. Bad news is, the verdict is "guilty" and as such, the album is a cold downer, filled with regrets and hopelessness, plus those rain metaphors the man loves to put in his lyrics. Here, those "tears coming down like..." get their own track, and while the moody and memorable "The Rain" tries hard to be the album's signature cut, it's the soulful and full-bodied "Time Still Tickin" that wins, coming off as the record Pam Grier's Coffy character might throw on for some reflection after a hard day on the streets, and the high boy count that comes with. Great how "Here We Are" comes with some dour strings that Kurt Weill would embrace, and nice how hard numbers like "They Need That Mob Shit" return the man to the power level of his debut, but what really sticks is the complexity of the story. Jacka does the usual "if you can't serve the time..."-type rhymes, but there's also the idea that the game just isn't what it used to be, and when you've got the growing strength of surveillance on one side and the senseless lack of respect on the other, being a hood caught in the middle means those tears will be coming down, just like rain.

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