Album Review | Jermiside & The Expert – The Overview Effect

This album was released on May 6th this year. I’m familiar with Jermiside through his affiliation with the Lessondary crew, which also houses artists such as Elucid & Tanya Morgan. I’ve never listened to a solo project from Jermiside, but I always enjoy hearing him on features. He’s also done a lot of work with Mega Ran, of whom I’m a big fan. On the other hand, I’m not really that familiar with The Expert. I’ve only heard a few beats that they’ve done for Zilla Rocca. I really enjoyed those beats though, so I think I’m gonna dig their production on this project. Again, I’ve never listened to a Jermiside project before, so I don’t really have any expectations for this album. I think I’ll enjoy it though.

The album opens with the title track, The Overview Effect, which is just a really nice half-minute long instrumental intro. I think it does a fantastic job of setting up the album. It sounds really great. The first actual song is called I Love You, Still?, and it features a vocalist named Farah Elle, who was also featured on the last CunninLynguists LP. Anyway, I think this track is really great. I appreciate the racial lyrical content of this track a lot. Jerm had a nice six-syllable rhyme scheme going for the opening quatrain of the first verse.

Martin Luther told me hatred was a bottomless emotion
But tell that to the slaves at the bottom of the ocean
The raids in their eyes cause a nautilus imposin'
They sayin' lack of fathers is the cause of this comotion
It's goin' down, as those fallin' off the boats drown
We watch the inner-city turn into a ghost town
Friends stumble down the street like the Walking Dead
Siren screams as I listen to a talking head

The production from The Expert is very good too. This track doesn’t have one of my favorite beats on the album, but I do still enjoy it quite a bit. I think the hook from Farah Elle is really great too, although I imagine it’ll be kind of polarizing for a lot of listeners. Or maybe it won’t. I just feel like a lot of Hip Hop listeners won’t appreciate it for whatever reason. I fuck with it though. The third verse is easily my favorite part of this song.

A lineage of misery, this still a mystery
Got me searchin' through old slave records to find my history
Remnants of plantation houses where they raped our spouses
So we don't listen to anything that a snake espouses
And did I mention? They quell anything near dissentin'
My great gran' ran out of town 'cause he feared a lynchin'
We walkin' through the wilderness of North America
Where they claim that niggas villainous because they scared of ya

His flow and rhymes were on point, and I love the content. I also really like the way the production evolved during this verse. The song is really goddamn dope. I love it. The following track is called Electric Boogie. The production from The Expert is really fantastic on this song, and Jerm killed the first verse. I love the unique lyrical content. I can’t decide who I’m more impressed by between Jermiside & The Expert on this track. They both did a great job.

Technological savages, it's just the law of averages
I guess it adds up like an abacus
And even gotta move stealth if you've got wealth
They got you makin' posts daily, keepin' tabs on your own self

The hook on this track is pretty straightforward, but I think it works really well. I love how dynamic the production is, and I appreciate that there are actually three whole verses on this track. A problem I’ve had with a lot of underground releases is that the songs don’t really feel very fleshed out; a lot of them are just singular verses with no hook or bridge or anything like that. This song actually feels complete though. I think it’s really dope. It’s followed by a highlight entitled Conflict. Once again, I’m struggling to decide who I’m more impressed by between The Expert & Jermiside. I was already enjoying the production on this track a lot, but then the beat switched up and got even doper. This song has one of my favorite instrumentals on the whole album, which is saying a lot. Jermiside rhymed his ass off over it too.

It's all misery, instead of actin' brotherly and sisterly
We fight to see who got rights to go rewrite the history
The thuggin' and misery is ugly and grizzly
It befuddles me mentally and puzzles me immensely
Got the wifey rubbin' me so lovely intensely
At night we live in fright for our brothers incidentally
As fights turn fatal in a club or penitentiary
Killed the plantation and they snubbed you for a century

The second verse is even better than the first one in my opinion.

Only deal with the truthful matters
Society is backsliding like chutes & ladders
In every day another 100 new cadavers
It's those with little to lose, a bazooka splatters
A gory scene, every tooth in the youth chatters
A riot on the square every time a group gathers
Roadside bombs fill you up with shrapnel pieces
Men screamin' for they mamas or they ask for Jesus

The vocal sample at the end of the track was a great way to end the song. I think this is one of the best songs on the album. I love it. It’s dope as hell. Track 5 is called Bullet Shock, and it’s got a relatively energetic instrumental. I think the beat is awesome. The lyrical content about gun violence is pretty dope to me.

2Pac died from it, Biggie Smalls died from it
Niggas hide from it, chosen few survive from it
You run and hide, takin' cover nationwide from it
You gangsta 'til bullets collide and your pride plummet
It make the foolish stop, pop when they pull a glock
The whole boulevard in shock from the bullets shot

I think Jermiside killed both of the verses, and I love the sample The Expert flipped for the hook. I enjoyed this song on my first listen, but it’s grown on me even more with repeat listens. I think it’s another one of the best songs on the album honestly. It’s dope as hell. The following track is yet another highlight entitled Black Tears. This track was released as a single ahead of the album’s release. It stands out from the rest of the tracklist for me because it has a feature from Stik Figa. I think he sounds awesome over this beat. In fact, he sounded so good that it made me wanna hear more collaborations between him and The Expert in the future. His hook is pretty dope, and he killed his verse on this track.

Friend or foe? State your biz
Tell me what you really know, who really wins?
Gamble with your soul, bro, not again
Make it rain, make it rain, Judas pushin' in the newest Benz
Love the money, hundreds folded like a crucifix
Wadin' in the waters, sung in a whisper
Hummed under drums, loaded guns paint the picture
Sacred, awaited, the same as the scripture

The way the beat kinda switches up for the verse from Jermiside is awesome. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed Jermiside’s performance on this track, this kinda feels like Stik Figa’s song. They both did a great job though. This one is dope as hell to me. It’s followed by Middle Ground. Once again, I love the production. The hard-hitting drums sound great, and it’s a pretty fast-paced instrumental. Jermiside killed it too.

Genocide, suicide, ethnic cleansing
Civilize the savages, and all type of pretension
A free society like a detention
Sobriety of the mental variety, they don't like you to mention

I like the way this song is structured; there are about two or three verses divided by instrumental interludes, and then there’s a pretty nice outro. I don’t really have any gripes with this track. It didn’t blow me away like a lot of the other songs did, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I think this shit is dope. The following track is called Government Is A…, and it’s a really awesome anti-government interlude. It contains audio of a United States president—I’m not sure which one—talking about how he’s “not a crook” and how he’s “earned everything I’ve got” followed by a crowd laughing. I really appreciate the content of this track, and the instrumental in the background is great. This is a top tier interlude. I don’t mind it being here at all. I think it’s awesome. This track is followed by my favorite song on the album, For the Money.

The production from The Expert is phenomenal, and Jerm fucking killed it. That’s really all I need to say about this track to be honest. It’s just really good rapping over a fantastic instrumental. I like the Method Man sample that The Expert flipped for the hook, and the way the beat switches up for the second verse is fucking awesome. The second verse contains some of the best rapping on the whole album too.

Said you saw yourself drowning in your recent dreams
Since your teens all you wanted was some decent means
Frequent streams of income that you can keep in things
Teach 'em things, sit with your family and eat some greens
Bustin' your ass, lustin' for cash, punchin' the gas
Up and you dash, up in your stash since cuttin' grass
Then crash, you could lose it in a sudden flash
Your palms itchin' tryna satisfy the fuckin' brass

I think I misquoted some of those lines, but you can see how well he was rhyming either way. There’s not a single aspect of this song that I don’t like. I think it’s dope af. It’s followed by another highlight entitled Crime Rule the City, which was one of the more exciting tracks for me because it features Tanya Morgan. Once again, the production here is absolutely stunning. For whatever reason, as soon as I heard it I imagined the Wu-Tang Clan ripping it to shreds. I can definitely hear Ghostface Killah over a beat like this. I get the coveted involuntary head nod every time I hear the beat drop on this track. Jerm’s flow on the first verse is really nice too. The hook is dope, and Von Pea killed the second verse. The way the beat switched up for his performance was really nice. Donwill probably had my favorite verse on the track though. He sounded great. The song is dope as hell. The next track is yet another highlight called Floating. I love the production from The Expert on this track, and Jermiside’s flow on both of the verses is great.

Rhymes worth quotin' plus pertinent and potent
'Cause yesterday I told my ex I felt like I was floatin'
Jermiside be antidotin' through colloquial speech
This life ain't just a joke, a peach, or a stroll on the beach

This song’s got a very straightforward structure; it’s just two verses with a short break in between. It’s the shortest song on the album if you don’t count the intro and interludes, but it doesn’t feel undercooked at all. This is another one of my favorite songs on the album just because the beat and verses are so good. It’s dope as hell. Track 12 is called Ecology. Once again, the production from The Expert is very good, and Jermiside sounds fantastic over it. The content about climate change and environmental racism is pretty interesting.

Yo, we used to be in unison with nature and god
Now everything we doin’ all plastic and odd
Government coverups try and mask the façade
But the all seeing eye’s all massive and broad

The way the beat kinda switches up for the second verse is really nice. I love how aggressive Jermiside’s flow is too. This isn’t really a highlight for me on the album, but I still really like it. I think it’s a dope song. The penultimate track is an interlude entitled Love Prelude. It’s a really nice instrumental with audio clips of some guy talking about how the best thing about mankind is their ability to love. I think this is another really fantastic interlude. It doesn’t feel like a waste of time. It transitions into the closing track, A Little Love, really well. This song is another highlight for me. I love the production, and the content from Jermiside is very wholesome. His flow and rhymes are on point too. At one point on this track there’s a familiar sample of someone singing “I love you, I love you, I love you,” which you may remember from Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album. I personally don’t care for the Champagne Poetry instrumental at all, but I think that sample works a lot better on this song. Overall, I think this is a fantastic way to close the album, and it’s another one of my favorite songs on the project. I think it’s dope as hell.

This is another one of the best albums I’ve heard so far this year. I’ve always enjoyed Jermiside on features, but his rapping impressed me more than I expected it to here. He’s a really technically skilled MC. His flow and rhymes are very captivating to me, and he knows how to nail a good concept track. The Expert’s instrumentals here are fantastic too. I think this is one of the best-produced albums I’ve heard all year. The psychedelic Rock samples that they flipped throughout this album make it a really unique-sounding Hip Hop record. All of the features came through with great performances too. There’s not a single verse on this album that I didn’t enjoy. I really don’t have any consistent gripes with this record. I think it’s dope as hell. Check it out.

Favorite Song: For the Money
Least Favorite Song: Middle Ground


Grade: A-

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