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I, John
     

I, John

5.0 3
by John Forté
 
John Forté opens his sophomore disc, I, John, with a reggae-tinged take on the jazz standard "What a Difference a Day Makes," featuring the sampled vocals of Dinah Washington. It's a telling choice, given the life-changing day the eclectic rapper had in 2001 when he was sentenced to 14 years in prison on

Overview

John Forté opens his sophomore disc, I, John, with a reggae-tinged take on the jazz standard "What a Difference a Day Makes," featuring the sampled vocals of Dinah Washington. It's a telling choice, given the life-changing day the eclectic rapper had in 2001 when he was sentenced to 14 years in prison on drug-trafficking charges. "I've made plenty of mistakes in the past," the onetime member of the Fugees' extended circle, the Refugee Camp, told The New York Times. With, I, John, however, Forté proves he's also capable of doing plenty of things right. A far cry from his uneven debut, Poly Sci, this disc is an autobiographical collection of soul-searching, repentant, and at times bitter songs penned mostly during the time between his arrest and sentencing. On the breezy, Fugees-reminiscent "Harmonize," the dreadlocked rapper -- who sings à la Bob Marley as much as he raps on I, John -- trades verses with female vocalist Robyn Springer. As the duo sing in unison, "Think of me when you sing in key/The way we harmonize," Forté sounds as if he's lamenting a love he left outside prison walls. Just as reflective is the electric guitar- and horn-accented "Trouble Again," featuring trip-hop star Tricky, where Forté makes light of his adventures, or misadventures, as the case may be. On the string-laden ballad "All the Pretty People," Forté ponders African Americans' place in the American Dream: "It's easy to see who made us not so equal/The TV told us we weren't the pretty people/...Where do we classify in your stories?" Perhaps the disc's only misstep is the off-key rock number "Been There, Done That," featuring Forté's friend and supporter Carly Simon. Still, I, John is an impassioned testimony from one of hip-hop's most talented artists.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Neil Strauss
...a beautiful, reflective set of songs more influenced by Bob Marley and Finley Quaye than by mainstream rap. The songs smoothly blend trip-hop, rhythm-and-blues, rap and reggae, resulting in a soulful sound that is breezy on the surface but solid in the foundation.
Rolling Stone - Robert Christgau
Recorded in the month before his 2001 trial, I, John seems to be one of those rare albums that make the most of personal crisis -- think Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear, or Paul McCartney's Run Devil Run. 1/2

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2002
Label:
TRANSPARENT MUSIC
UPC:
0686325001825
catalogNumber:
50018

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Forté   Primary Artist,Percussion,Piano,Violin,Keyboards
Carly Simon   Track Performer
Herbie Hancock   fender rhodes
Dinah Washington   Track Performer
Robyn Springer   Track Performer
Gerald Tarack   Violin
Olivia Koppell   Viola
Regis Landiorio   Violin
Jesse Levy   Cello
Ben Taylor   Track Performer
Ben Wisch   Guitar
Larry Ciancia   Drums
David Flemming   Organ
Bette Sussman   Organ,Piano
Esthero   Track Performer
John Sneider   Trumpet

Technical Credits

J.K.   Producer
Mark Morris   Pro-Tools
Will Schillinger   Engineer
Ben Wisch   Engineer
David Flemming   Programming
Bette Sussman   Producer
David Passick   Executive Producer
John Forté   Programming,Producer
Marc Algranti   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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I, John 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW is all I can say. This album is unexpectingly great. A review really will not do it justice. This is really a great album that John Forte pours his heart into. Everyone who loves music really need to pick this one. You will never ever see him more honest then on this album. There is nothing but pure music on all of these tracks. Definitely check it out, you will not be disapointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is tight from start to finish its a breath of fresh air ....... raspects Jahn for this........
Guest More than 1 year ago
I, John shows Forte is more than a rapper; He is a musician. This album can be listened to from beginning to end with no programming. Buy this album. It doesn't matter if you have never herd the artist before.