• Review

Album Review: Square One - Payzant

Late in 2019 I was roaming through Instagram when I came upon a picture from my tattoo artist and his wife. They were proud of their son and stepson respectively Jacob Payzant for releasing his first album. So, I did what any music lover does in this situation, and I went looking for it, found it, and listened to it.

I spend a lot of time with folk music, blues, and rock and roll. However, I did grow up in Chicago in the 80’s and 90’s and I had an older brother and friends that introduced me to Hip Hop. So, when I heard the first thirty seconds of Payzant I found him on Instagram and asked him if he would be cool with me reviewing the album. He said “yes” with some enthusiasm and the listening began.

Alright so let’s dig in. Before I even listened to it, I had my concerns. Hip Hop today is not what it once was, and maybe that’s just me being the old man on the hill. So, when Payzant’s “In My Duffle (intro)” kicked off the record I said to myself “okay.” In that excited way like alright young man I’m listening. The record is only seven songs at seventeen minutes. I kicked my feet up and through my headphones, where I get the best sound quality, I was impressed. They created an album, or EP, considering it’s only seven songs. But the EP plays like an album. The songs flow seamlessly from one to another. I mean when the seventeen minutes were up, I had no idea. I love when music does that. When it takes the time from you. When after you listen to something, you’re like “that’s it?” Sort of bummed out and wishing there was more. The five times I have listened to this I have had that same reaction. After the third I had to remind myself that “oh yeah, duh this is it.” I love when music does that.

Payzant’s delivery and lyrics help make this album a time escaper, along with the fresh beats. It’s not loud and in your face. The record is chill, and has some anger to it, but that’s okay. It’s not over the top and he along with Gofunkeyourself and Shorty made the time disappear. Not only being smart lyrically they also did something with these seven songs that’s equally as smart, knowingly or unknowingly. They left me wanting more. I was left with the impression that they have something to say and they are a most certainly a fresh listen. What I mean by this is that it is nice to hear young dudes being their authentic selves. I’m all about anyone making a living at music however they can, but when you are going to try and do it while being authentic, I don’t know, I got mad respect for that.

If you are looking for something to vibe on, or just listen to while doing anything I would recommend this. Take the seventeen minutes and just listen. I’m told there is more to come. He, Payzant, is at work on a second record so I’m patiently anticipating that release. For now, though what we have from Payzant is seven tracks that are just simply good. They’re refreshing. If you’re a fan of hip hop or rap, you’ll like this. Or hell if you are a fan of just good music, you’ll like this also. You can find Payzant on all the streaming services and all the social medias. Give him a listen it’s well worth it.