Disclaimer: All views presented in this review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
The journey behind TJ Pompeo‘s lastest EP begins with a play on words for the title Pompeiio. The title of the EP is based on an Italian city by the name of Pompeii, which happens to coincide with Pompeo’s Italian roots. The former Mixed Bag Entertainment artist gets personal on this project and steps out of the box from what listeners would consider the traditional CHH sound.
As mentioned above, the EP title, Pompeiio, is deeper than a clever spelling of TJ’s last name. In a press release TJ shares what the true meaning of the title stands for.
“The story behind the EP title is somewhat of a history lesson in itself,” says Pompeo. “Pompeii was a beautiful, thriving port city in Ancient Italy. Then in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the entire city in volcanic dust and ash. Now, what remains of the city is known as the ‘Ruins of Pompeii.’ I wanted to take that story, spin it into a metaphor for my EP, and discuss the different volcanoes (Pride, envy, lust, anger, pain, loneliness, etc) in my life and my walk that have attempted to erupt and create the Ruins of ‘Pompeiio.’ Plus, I’m Italian, and my family lineage stems from the Napoli and Pompeii region, so it just made even more sense to adopt this as the title and concept for the EP.” Source: JamtheHype
Although this is Pompeo’s debut EP for retail, TJ is definitely not new to the music industry. His discography dates back to 2012 according to his free bandcamp account. He was also the first artist signed to Mixed Bag Entertainment, an entertainment company started by CHH pioneer Da T.R.U.T.H.. TJ released his free debut EP entitled I’mperfect on March 16, 2015.
One thing that has remained consistent with TJ’s music is his ability to be experiment with different sounds but still deliver music that all listeners can appreciate. TJ is able to infuse different genres of music together for a sound that is safe to be considered, a mixed bag of sorts.
Content + Sound
The content and sound of the EP is refreshing and upbeat. TJ shows that he is not afraid to be different and showcase a different sound throughout the project. The infusion of hip hop and EDM all within one track is unheard of for CHH. TJ is transparent with his listeners regarding his own personal life struggles and allows his lyrics to not only be heard but felt by his audience.
On the track, “Feelin A Way” featuring JPaul and Canon, TJ tackles one of the most controversial issues in our society today regarding racism and discrimination. He offers a perspective from the outside looking in, to the problems he sees our society is dealing with.
On the song “Next Time,” TJ gets really personal and invites the listeners behind the scenes of his life and into some health issues that he has been battling with. The honesty of the song helps you feel the pain and aloneness that TJ was dealing with during his hospital visits.
“Bare Trap” addresses the topic of relationships and being mindful of the pressures and temptations that come from honoring God through dating. The topic of this song is relevant to the culture and you think about the decisions you make when you are in a relationship. The slow melodic flow of the track adds to the dramatic, real life lyrics of the song.
The song “Interruption,” enlightens the listener on not giving into the seduction of sin and describing what being a true rebel looks like – not following the pattern of this world. The second half of the song switches to an EDM driven beat which will set off any party scene, with strobe lights and fog happening simultaneously of course.
I believe the listeners will appreciate the freshness that TJ is bringing to the CHH game. The flexibility of sound on this project shows the versatility of TJ, not only as a rapper but also a singer. He is showing his listeners that there are no limits to what he can create musically and you never know what he will come out with next.
Pompeiio is an encouragement to the listener to know that you are not alone with the issues that you are dealing with. It tells us that life happens but we must remain steadfast in our walk with Christ.