Review for 3Bubble & J. Gray 'Pentagon Memoirs'

Pentagon Memoirs is a collaborative effort, bringing together Houston's finest artists from King Keraun, Kelechi, Ronnie E., Lil Goddi, Kendal Untamed, Mr. Hodge, Taneshia Solomon, Dee-Wreck, ELLE, MOrilla, Yung B.E., Kane, Dirty and Nasty and Cabar. At the helm of this project are the ringleaders, 3Bubble and J. Gray, who truly show their chops on their second album together.

A major component to the team, 3Bubble is quoted saying “take a hundred pounds of concrete, mix it up with swag and a lotta heart ... the you got 3.” 3Bubble, born as Cleon Solomon III, gained recognition for his most recent notable solo work on Magnums and Montecristos.

Justin Andrew Gray a.k.a. J. Gray a native Houstonian, who honed his skills while at the High School for Performing & Visual Arts (HSPVA), met up with fellow Houston artist 3Bubble while pulling his musical influences on Brooklyn and Atlanta where he once lived.

The two instantly hit it off and were excited to start a duo where they could blend their musical tastes together.

Pentagon Memoirs is made up of a hodge-podge of genres. The eclectic sounds makes 3Bubble and J. Gray the dynamic genre-bending group that mixes classic hip hop with a proper fusion of funk, EDM, pop and soul.

The album starts out with “Bulletproof” (feat. King Keraun). It is a track filled with sophisticated beats and is heavily branded as a pop song with its uplifting harmonies and keyed up and energized rapping. “You Ain’t” is a promising, invincible track with a EDM sound.

In “How” (feat. Kelechi, Ronnie E.), we get a hypnotizing, whirlwind stance that will stun listeners. Its stirring vibe is rhythmic and as an unbreakable premise while lyrics spew from the rapper’s lips. “Back to Work” (feat. Lil Goddi) has some enlightening lyrics that is tapping into something that is as if something possessed. The unflinching, sure-fire way the group raps could be only said to be avant-garde.  Audiences can really feel the rappers get into the zone here on this track.

The rhymes on “Mac’n” (feat. Kendal Untamed) and “Better Days” (feat. Mr. Hodge) follow a killer ease, while the rappers give a speedy, quick and keen delivery as line by line is filled with a rhythmic beat and is sung social conscious commentary.

3Bubble and J. Gray continue to show their visibility as they are constantly on listeners’ radars, having just released Pentagon Memoirs a few months after their prior album together, Live From The Pentagon. Their detailed work with chasing beats unleashes the raw emotions that may come from smart lyrics and effective music. Be sure to give their deaf-defying and genre-crossing music a listen!

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My Nguyen

My Nguyen is a CD reviewer from San Diego, CA. She regularly contributes to TheCelebritycafe.com. Her work has appeared in the following journals: Quietpoly, Community Voices, Espresso 1, The Whistling Fire, The Pedestal Magazine, The Straylight Magazine, Baby Lawn Literature, and Conceit Magazine.