Mr. Jhak Drops “Who Killed the Page Wizurd?” via PGH’s Parliament of Strix
Philly-native emcee Mr. JHAK is prepping to release his debut album via Parliament of Strix: a futuristic, bass-infused hip hop label, established and anchored by local DJ-producer, Mr. OWL. The full-length, 16-track LP will be released by way of the Pittsburgh-based record label next Tuesday.
Hip hop heads and turntablists, alike, recognize Mr. OWL as a valued staple in Pittsburgh’s music community. In 10-plus years, he’s held down residencies with Obvious and Timebomb; constructed an event and podcast series for progressive hip hop producers; remained a counterpart within production crew, DOMINANT FORCE; and hosted monthly Producer Meetup workshops for aspiring music creators.
His working relationship and friendship with Mr. JHAK has allowed for creative visions to collide and collabs to unfold…
Using Parliament of Strix as his launching pad, JHAK is on a mission to restructure hip hop by taking it back to its roots; i.e. lyrical depth, smartly structured wordplay, and picture-painting punchlines.
Through amplified lyricism and comic-book imagery, the emcee sets the tone, portraying the “good vs. evil,” “devil-on-your-shoulder” scenarios that appear inevitably throughout life. Personified by his moniker, the Page Wizurd, this concept parallels the battles JHAK fights within himself. His conflicts and thought processes lead to life-altering decisions, but JHAK sees the light in the darkness. He acknowledges his dark shadow, and attempts to conquer him.
The album’s inaugural track is a story with a backstory: it started with two best friends linking up and joining forces to send a message through their artforms; unwavering in their attempt to perfect their message, regrouping and reworking until the bars and instrumentals flowed flawlessly.
“”Beacon” is the first track on the album… It’s also, ironically, the first instrumental that my producer/best friend, Chris [Mr. OWL], ever presented to me… This instrumental [has] gone through many changes and variations; however, when I first heard it, tingles ran down my spine. It was exotic and new to me. At first, I had no idea how to approach the track lyrically… This track has a special place in my soul for its polarizing effect on my thought process.”
The artist experienced an array of lifestyle changes before reworking his lyrics, enduring and overcoming struggles as a young 20-something bouncing around the country (L.A., Pittsburgh, etc.) and braving life’s transitions:
“I initially wrote [“Beacon”] in an angry stupor. I was exhausted with life, literally hungry, and desperate. I did a lot of things that I regret… I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself. As a result, I struggled with the lyrics for this track… I looked at the lyrics [later] and was frustrated with what I wrote. The lyrics of the first verse, especially, didn’t reflect the lyrics of the chorus–which was supposed to promote my spirit, my soul, my life, and emotion to something greater than its sum… Further along in the writing process, the next two verses morphed into a telling of those who take music for granted. Those who knew the power of music could modify emotion and motivation… Beacon became a track, to me, that represents my essence on this planet–my insecurities, my boons, my angst. I wanted this track to explain to the listener that hip hop was the beacon that brought me home… It centered my metaphysical when I hated who I was, or where I was, or what I was doing with life. Essentially, as cliche as this may sound, hip hop saved [and still saves] my life.”
A limited-edition, comic-style t-shirt, which chronicles the album’s narrative, will also be available for purchase.
Additionally, the duo’s recently released collab track, “Stigmatic Disease,” has gained some major underground hype; take a listen below:
Download “Who Killed the Page Wizurd?” and give it a full listen when it drops; plus, be sure to stay tuned for further updates and releases from the artists on the Parliament of Strix website.