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April 16, 2008
Vol. 99, Issue 12

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Reality Check
Jerry Blackwell

Rating: 4 out of 5 on the black hand side

Reviewed by Blair Tripp

Kooley High

Greensboro native and N.C. Central University English junior Jerry Blackwell is giving the world a dose of reality.

His new album, “Reality Check,” was recently released online.

That title perfectly fits the compelling storytelling that Blackwell feeds his listeners, one dose of reality at a time.

Blackwell touches on such subjects as abortion, crime, alcoholism and love.

With witty word play and vivid scenarios, he eases listeners along.

These are stories that some will be able to relate to; many will be intrigued.

“Have Me” looks at abortion from the point of view of an unborn child.

The child recalls his conception and talks about how bright his future could have been.

Blackwell raps, “I’m in the land of the never known, never seen, never grown.

“You’ll never know how great I’ll be unless you have me.”

These songs are not brought to life by his lyricism alone.

The eccentric, fresh-sounding beats give us the feeling that hip hop will never be laid to rest.

This is proven by the uplifting “Freedom Song,” which embraces hope and the strength to overcome the impossible.

Blackwell advises listeners not to fall victim to the false ideals of society.

Blackwell raps, “I just want to fly like an eagle, tell all of my young black guys that you’re equal — you’re not 3/5ths human, that’s a lie.

“We’re so much easier to concur when we stratify.”

Blackwell’s album brings real issues to light, keeping hip hop flowing through every verse.

This album will definitely keep your mind in check — a reality check, that is. — Blair Tripp

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