News 12 May 2017

1st listen review: J Hus’ ‘Common Sense’ album

12 May 2017

What a start to the year it has been for UK rap and grime. With the success of Nines’ One Foot Out and Stormzy’s Gang Signs and Prayer albums, the bar has been set for artists to follow suit and after much anticipation, J Hus has just released his own album, Common Sense. The anticipation for this album stems from the fact that J Hus is different from many of our artists and has very much forged his own sound. Many people call it afro-rap but personally, that is lazy. He is too versatile and too creative to be simply marginalised into one genre. It’s better to appreciate the concoction of sounds and genres he utilises in his sound which ranges from rap, grime, afro beats, dancehall and RnB.

The journey J Hus has made with his music is incredible. From his BL@CKBOX and GRM Rated freestyles alone, it was clear from then he had the potential to be a star. However, it was the release of his hood anthem, “Dem Boy Paigon”, which currently sits on over seven million views and his radio hit, “Lean & Bop”, which is on over nine million views that indicated Hus is here for the long run and opened him up to a new legion of fans.

Whilst his journey to the release of this album has not been without his ups and downs, J Hus has successfully been able to take the raw realities of the streets to the mainstream in a melodic and original way without compromise. He has just completed a nationwide tour, performed at the PFA Awards and his track, “Did You” See was A-Listed by Radio 1, signifying the impact he is having on UK Music and even the culture.

There is no denying the star quality J Hus possess and there is an expectancy that this album will achieve high numbers in the charts. Yet, there is a greater element to consider with this album, particularly for the greater good of the UK underground scene. It is further proof, as shown with the success of artists this year alone, that if you have the ability and are original with your sound, you can take it to the masses.

Whilst it is important to fully immerse yourself into an album and allow time to take it in properly, the great aspect of a first listen review is being able to take it in its raw form. We can capture immediately what an artist is trying to imprint into our thoughts when we listen to their tracks and then compare that after a few more listens. So chill, have a drink and take in our review as well taking in the album for yourselves. Enjoy.

Don’t forget to cop the album right here.

“Common Sense”

First track on the album had been released a couple days ago and the first thought that came to my head was how this beat would not sound out of place on a Rick Ross album. Ross is able to flex what I call his “lavish trap” bars on this type of beat that work so well for him and with this track, J Hus is equally as suited to it. Main theme from the track is how Hus is aware of his rise in the music industry but it is “common sense” to have elements of the roads still with him. Great start to the album.

“Bouf Daddy”

Okay this song is a banger and I can already tell from the first ten seconds! J Hus flexing his melodic skills, the “hustla baby, baby, baby” right at the start sounds so wavy! Rolling my shoulders to the rhythm of the beat. Love this song already. Wavy hook as well. What else would you expect?! Hus also switches it up with his flow. Definitely a summer banger.


Just from the song title alone, I’m expecting J Hus to come in hard and raw. This is the Hus I love. The Gritty one. The beat is mad. “Driver right turn, my turn my turn”, hoping this is a story telling song from him! But as the song continues, I can’t lie, the song isn’t growing too much as I initially thought it would when it first started. Turns out this isn’t a story. Perhaps it’ll grow on me with a few more listens.

“Leave Me Alone”

“Leave me alone let me bun my reefa”, opening line and sets the tone for the track. Hus back to flexing his melodies. Wavy track. I get a sense from this track, well it’s obvious from the title, but he really wants to be left alone whilst he basks in his glory. This song is perfect right after the intensity of the previous track.

“Closed Doors”

Definitely a tune for the ladies! This has got a smooth jazz feel to the production and I like it a lot. The distinctive instrumental sounds of the drums and bass guitar flow so well with Hus. Real smooth track. He is opening up about a lady in the only way he can. Uncompromisingly and straight to the point. This is a sick song. Growing on me as the track progresses.

“Did You See”

Ah, unless you’ve had your head under a rock the past couple months, how have you not heard the lead song from this album! Whilst there is little point me reviewing it, what I will say is that so far, the track listing order of the album is brilliant and it flows so well. This track is perfectly placed from the prior tracks.

“Like Your Style”

The levels of production of this album seven tracks in, is supremely high. This is a feel good song and an uplifting beat. “Had to sex two chicks before sound check”, ahh the consequences of success are really affecting J Hus haha! Jokes aside though, this is one of the best tracks I’ve heard so far on the album. So many quotes as well from this!


This has a garage feel to it, the tempo is quicker but no problem whatsoever for J Hus! His flow is impeccable on it and rides well on the beat. This bar was jokes, “see the gyal who just hopped in, said she doesn’t do this often, same thing she told my bredrin”. Hus also flexing his grammar using the word “discombobulated” in this track. Must be the first rapper to ever say that on a track.

“Sweet Cheeks”

Another smooth beat. The hook is wavy. Another song for the ladies, and whilst I love Hus when he is on crud mode, he is so sick at these types of songs I actually don’t care yet that in this album I haven’t really heard a cruddy sounding track. Also, if I don’t get one in the album, I appreciate his life is different now and is more mature with his sound! This is another good song!


The song I have been so eager to hear! I heard a preview on Instagram when J Hus, Mist and MoStack were in the studio and it sounded wavy as fuck, but Jesus this song is so big. Mist comes straight into it bringing the wave and then MoStack. They both go in! In fact, with these three together, they were only ever going to create magic on a track! The more this track goes on the more I know this is a big big track. I can imagine this being played in a lot of summer evening BBQs for some reason, don’t ask why. Its just the vibe it has to it.

“Good Time”

Another feature I am looking forward to, with Burna Boy this time on this track. If this song isn’t a vibe, then I have no hope! Thankfully, I am not disappointed. There is an obvious afro vibe to the track and can imagine this will be played in many parties and clubs this summer, as well as when you’re just vibzing with a few friends. Another big track from this album. Honestly, J Hus has set the bar very high.


BANGER. Goes straight into the hook. I like this a lot. The beat is carried by a heavy, rhythmic bassline. This is club banger I can already hear it. I can’t lie, I wouldn’t be surprised if this song wasn’t considered along with ‘Did You See’ to be the leading track from the album. They both have similar sounds and are equally of high quality. “Money coming in on a bolo ting”, yeah I liked that bar there. Very wavy track.

“Mash Up”

Another MoStack feature, not that I am complaining. He’s one of my favourite artists! As the song title suggests, the beat has a mash up feel to it. It has a raw, and quite sinister sound to it but it sounds sick! MoStack is killing this track I cant lie, he is standing out. Favourite line from the song from him was, “That the banter, your chain got no hiiiice like J Hus Fanta!”


First immediate thought was this song has a Biggie or 50 Cent feel to the beat and the flow. This could be the dark song I have been craving for so long from the album…and I’m not disappointed! As I have already said around 5 or 6 tracks in, I could tell this album was structured well with the track listing and the placement of this song is perfect. Mash up was the perfect song to prepare you for this, no hold bars track from J Hus. Big song.

“Good Luck Chale”

Featuring the smooth and extremely talented, Tiggs Da Author, this song is has a dark feel to it but it is not totally sinister, rather it is telling the realities of the street life. They are delivering it with a vibe. This track showcases J Hus’ ability to have made the transition of his raw sound to the mainstream. I can imagine this song, or the hook at least, being played in a crime scene of a movie where the main character has just done a madness. It just has that sound to it. Another great song!

“Who Are You”

The penultimate track of the album. I expect this to close off the album, and not least the last few tracks which are different from the more uplifting and vibsey tracks of the first half of the album. There is definitely a reflective feel to the song, not least from this bar, “Find out who you are from the company you keep”. As the song goes in, it’s clear this is Hus talking about the realities of the life he has lives. The beat, as with every song, is absolutely amazing and of very high quality.  


We’ve all heard this song and a great way to celebrate what is a brilliant album from J Hus. Honestly, I know this is only my first listen, but this album is brilliant and yeah, this track is a great way to close the album.


This is a brilliant debut album from J Hus and whilst I had high expectations, I can honestly say he has not only met them, but exceeded them. The level of production of this album is incredible and bar the song “Clartin”, there was not one song I would have skipped. Even then, the song could grow on me with time but that is the beauty of a first listen review as your perception of a song changes with time. The sound of the album has longevity and whilst many of the tracks will be played over the summer, it will still be played throughout the year and beyond! Brilliant body of work.