REVIEW: Jacki-O – The Official Bootleg Mixtape

The Official Bootleg Mixtape

Artist: Jacki-O

Album: The Official Bootleg Mixtape

Label: TVT Records

Rating: 7 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

It’d be easy to write Jacki-O off as a Lil Kim bimbo pimping her sexuality in blatantly vulgar tones to cover up a shortfall in the skills department. However I’ve got news for you folks – Jacki-O has a little more substance than that. Sure she’s created a beehive’s worth of buzz with her smoldering looks and near-the-knuckle sing-a-long smash, ‘Nookie’, but scrape away the glamour and glitz for a sec, and you’ll find that Jacki can actually rock the mic hard. Check last year’s debut track ‘Sugar Walls’ from the Poe Boy compilation, a throbbing Miami Bass cut where she mixes sex-fuelled rhymes with a devastating delivery that Kim only wishes she had. If you find that hard to track down, then the next best option for a Jacki fix before her “Poe Little Rich Girl” longplayer drops at the end of July is probably this mixtape – “The Official Bootleg”.

On here, you’ll find a handful of new cuts that may or may not make the album (if they don’t – they you automatically have some exclusives), sprinkled among Jacki freestyling and profiling over some more familiar beats, while of course continually pumping the fact that she has an album dropping hot on the heels of the mixtape.

Most of the new cuts feature guests sharing mic time with Jacki – Freeway, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, Wyclef, Timbaland, and her own Poe Boy brethern all appear here. Don’t think that she can’t hold her own amongst the fellas though – she isn’t overshadowed at any point on any of the tracks. Her appearance with Trick Daddy of the ‘Champion’ remix creates a chemistry on wax that may have Trina a little shook – seems TDD works just as well in the studio with Jacki-O as he does with the self-proclaimed ‘baddest bitch’. Freeway’s presence on two cuts, ‘Take My Breath Away’ and ‘Gangsta Bitch’ only reinforces my opinion that he is one of the dopest rhymers out right now. He breaks all the rules – half his lines don’t rhyme, and his breath control is suspect… but somehow his straining-against-constipation voice never fails to disappoint me. Again there’s a definite chemistry between Jacki and her male counterpart, with ‘Gangsta Bitch’ standing out in particular.

Elsewhere, Wyclef’s appearance on the now-familiar remix of ‘Nookie’ still has mentally reaching for the baseball bat, while the Timbaland cut disappoints, mainly because ‘Out Of Control’ sounds like a close relative the the awful new LL cut ‘Headsprung’ – is Timothy shortchanging his clients?

When going for solo, whether freestyling over Jigga’s ‘Watcher’ beat, or on the slowed down soulful tracks like ‘Zoom’ or ‘People Change’, Jacki impresses much more. Its almost as if whenshe’s got a guest on the cut she has to live up to the sex-emcee image that the media has blown her up with, whereas when she’s in the studio on her own, she can get deeper and more personal. ‘People Change’ definitely stands out as a shining example – flipping the Enya sample made famous by the Fugees and more recently Mario Winans, Jacki explains the pain of a broken relationship.

“The Official Bootleg” is a nice little intro for the unaware, and a perfect little appetiser for the “PLRG” main course for those who are. Believe the hype, Jacki-O IS a genuine emcee. The fact that she looks good, will obviously see the media draw comparisons with Kim and Foxy, and up to a point Jacki would be foolish not to let this happen if it gets her extra press. However the bottom line is that under the looks, there ARE skills. “Poe Little Rich Girl” may just be one of the beneath-the-radar hits of the summer.

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