Essentials: Jakk Quill rips through beats on new EP, ‘Finding Flows’
Essentials: Jakk Quill rips through beats on new EP, ‘Finding Flows’

Essentials: Jakk Quill rips through beats on new EP, ‘Finding Flows’

A forthright display of technical proficiency

Jakk Quill is an enigmatic rap artist with the occasional raging urge to tear through beats, ol’ school rap style. Initially not very drawn to hip-hop, he related a lot more to rock and house music, until influences from J. Cole and Drake nudge his creativity into focus and helped kick-start his rap dreams. The Kenyan lyricist has worked his way into a respectable acclaim of his skill-set, with a catalogue that includes 2020’s ‘NEW Decade Same Dreams’ and last year’s ‘Lost in Motion’, the latter earning him a nomination at the 2021 UnKut Hennessy hip-hop awards.

After relative silence on—April’s “Loose Ends” was his first post-project release—Jakk Quill returned with a surprise EP, ‘Finding Flows’, over the weekend. Primarily self-produced, the 4-track project is remarkably consistent in tone, a rewarding listen fitting for its bite-sized run time. Conceptually, the sequencing and pace of the EP are stellar, with the skits helping to give things a ’90s college radio mixtape feel. The EP’s crux feels very straightforward, built around this idea of bragging and paying homage to the artists who paved the way for Jakk Quill and inspired his love of the culture. For the most part, this comes across well, with the Kenyan lyricist closing off the album with a freestyle over the beat for Jack Harlow and Drake’s “Churchill Downs.”


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Right from the start, he makes it clear his slight absence in the scene doesn’t mean he isn’t working. The intro, “What’s Going On,” is a skit where Jakk Quill satirical laughes after being asked what he has been up to. 2021 could be termed as his strongest year after releasing ‘Lost In Motion’, with the rap artist cruising over a versatile range of rap beats, working through personal stories and observations while still maintaining his assertive cadence. ‘Finding Flows’ is straightforward in its tone, a forthright reminder to the public that he takes his job as a technical lyricist serious. Switching flows, “Fucc a Flashbacc” shows Jakk Quill’s growth as he sounds confident and defiant in his delivery. The bass-infused beats show his tough-guy hyperbole felt throughout the 4 tracks. Jakk Quill seems comfortable in his skin and, by all accounts, now makes music he wants to without worrying about converting those who don’t want convincing.

Tron goes for maximalist production in Mindin My Biness: menacing piano snares that echo and drums that rip heads clean off shoulders. But Mindin My Business” offers the spirit of his loose material and packages it into a much more cohesive and focused gift of chaos. It does a few things differently than the previous records. He’s still using unconventional flows, but it’s mixed with buzzy bars more common, rather than obscure. On Churchill Downs Freestyle, Jakk Quill brags about living an enormously normal life, spitting, “had to dive into my inner matrix make some quick decisions, I am a math quiz I want to see big digits.” It’s a subtle flex claiming he’s one of the biggest celebrities in his niche cultural scene, possessing the foresight that he’s on his way up but not quite ready to brag about material possession.

Throughout ‘Finding Flows’, Jakk Quill raps mercilessly like a stapler gun. He has the quirkiness to appeal to mainstream rap heads without losing the flair that brought him to this point. With ‘Finding Flows’, Jakk Quill shows that while he may not be making subversive work, his worthy gimmicks and work ethic are remarkable on their own.