[15 November 2009]
Oakland emcee Jern Eye has been bouncing around the underground hip-hop scene for the last 13 years or so, both as a solo artist and member of the Lunar Heights crew. Like many Bay Area acts, though, his “breakout” moment never really came. There were the tours with the Pharcyde and Hieroglyphics, but Jern kept paying his dues, which he addresses on “Seasoned”. While this emcee might turn a few heads with his latest, Vision, he’s not quite there yet.
For many tracks on here, he spits with a laid-back flow that sounds like he was sleepwalking through the booth. That’s not some snarky comment or unfounded hate because Jern is clearly a capable rapper. He displays his skills on cuts like the Keelay & Zaire-produced banger “Get Down” and the Jake One-produced “Get Right”. For most of this record, Jern doesn’t take his rhymes to the next level. As a result, those tracks are often predictable and unfortunately dull. There’s potential here, and Jern realizes that potential every so often, but the overall product fails to deliver.