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JP3 Michael Siebert , May 9th, 2018 10:55

Another great GREAT alpha female voice for summer 2018

Thanks to NTS for the ace video

It’s too easy to forget how pivotal the first decade of the 2000s was for female rappers. At the turn of the millennium, artists like Kelis and Missy Elliott were at the absolute top of their game, one-upping their male counterparts in club anthems and in sexual braggadocio. How fitting that Shayna McHale, better known as Junglepussy, cites those two as influences. McHale has repeatedly proven her varied talents - club anthems and braggadocio among them - since the release of her 2014 mixtape Satisfaction Guaranteed, and expectations are high for JP3.

And good God, does it live up to those expectations. This album successfully harks back to her magnificent forebears while displaying McHale’s unique skills and style. It’s lean, at ten tracks, filed down to the absolute essentials with only its best ideas on display.

Opener ‘State of the Union’ begins with a swell of rapturous orchestral music that quickly settles into a block-rocking, snap-influenced beat complete with strings and police sirens. It’s all Junglepussy; there’s no chorus to speak of, and she asserts her dominance in the game with ‘Oh, shit!’-inspiring lines like “We play the same sport / I don’t smell like you.”

Features are kept to a minimum on JP3, which makes each one feel all the more vital. The addition of Gangsta Boo on ‘Long Way Home’ makes for one of the most memorable sex ballads in recent memory (how many tracks about “feeling a dick all up in my armpit” come to mind?). And New York rapper Wiki’s ode to cunnilingus on ‘Ocean Floor’, one of the best verses of his career, flips conventional hip-hop sex dynamics on their head.

Hearing Lil Kim rap about sucking dick in the 1990s was a revelation, a reclamation of sexuality in a genre that so often skews toward a male perspective. Similarly, it’s a delight to hear Junglepussy rap (on ‘Trader Joe’) about having a man carry her groceries and suck her toes.

The production carries the whole thing over the finish line, with influences ranging from Spanish jazz to reggae to crunk. Plenty of care went into each of these beats, with basslines and vocal samples as memorable as the lyrics. (Here’s hoping for more collaborations with Wiki mainstay Sporting Life, who alongside Shy Guy and Kashaka, handled production duties.) JP3 is a rollicking delight, exactly the sort of album we need right on the crest of summertime. Its power, though, will last way beyond the summer.