A couple months ago, Jack Papers f/k/a Lilo Brown had me come in to Icon Studios for an introductory listening session. The young emcee is also an uber-talented engineer and producer — all dope skills when you’re an artist out here these days, trying to be self-sufficient. We all know the labels barely touch you otherwise.
So yeah, in the spirit of keeping that movement growing, the Berkeley Park duo — Jack and DJ Domo — have offered us their Route 116 project, which, quite simply, is a solid effort from the twenty-something year olds. Pretty cool story behind it too.
See, if you’ve ever lived on the eastside of the Atlanta metro area without a car, you’re familiar with what Route 116 represents: the struggle. LOL.
Man. 116 has to be the longest bus route in any city, ever. You ride it across town and seriously consider how your life got to this point. MARTA service is usually terrible too so that bus would either be late or early but rarely right on time.
So these two took that ride almost daily for a notable stretch of time, all off the strength of believing in this dream. Truly believing that they were dope even as bills piled up, still believing enough to run for the 116. Day after day, month after month.
They considered quitting altogether on those long ass rides, but never gave up. So you see, this here, is a wonder — Berkeley Park’s latest project has Jack Papers and DJ Domo paying homage to, while thumbing their noses at, the 116 as they zip by, heading to the same destination, but finally, finally in the position to take a new route.
Here are the MFD Top Three from Route 116
1. ‘Bucket List’:
These Berkeley Park cats are a couple of the friendliest weedheads you’d ever meet. And that’s pretty damn friendly. But you get the sense that they both get super introspective — hell, even morbid — when they blow trees down. ‘Bucket List’ would serve as evidence of this.
2. ‘L.T.I.H. (Last Time I Heard),’ ft. Myles Davis & Nate Butler:
Yo. Somebody had to have ticked my man Jack off just before he went in the booth with this one. LOL. That last verse? That breathless delivery… I. Mean. Not to mention the beat is boomin’…
3. ‘Pops 6’Foe’:
I really like this one. Sounds like the angst of young men with the weight of the world on their shoulders, through and through. ‘Conversating with the devil, ’cause the Lord ain’t send his blessing…’
**Special shouts to Gary E. Jordan for putting me on to these cats. And if you play the project back and pay attention, you guys may hear a familiar voice on the skits…