Florida based hip hop artist Jacob Stouffer has been refining his craft since the age of 19. Bursting onto the scene in June of 2020, Stouffer has released his debut, full-length record, Ranting Over Cigars.
This album is not for those interested in the status quo. In this project, Stouffer challenges the notion that society is set up to benefit the individual, and he ties in his own personal stories with his takes on multiple heavy topics. Ranting Over Cigars is a deep, introspective look into the many flaws of society as told by an insightful artist who has developed a polished, cutting musical style.
“Ranting Over Cigars gives listeners the immediate challenge that they should consider that the culture does not have their best interest in mind. From who we value to how we spend our free time to how we engage in personal relationships, Ranting provides a counter-cultural alternative.”
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Mind Under Water is a critical look into consumerism and how society spends far too much time and energy buying things we don’t need. “Everything’s fine,” Stouffer says sarcastically, while passionately and urgently explaining that we should stop mindlessly making purchases and blindly following what we’re being told to do.
The dramatic beat in Misinformation Age has an unexpected but welcome layering of string parts that stay with us through the entire track. This one discusses the control that the different forms of media can have on society, and even takes the point of view of the media companies, saying, “State the facts, but do a sleight of hand and make the facts look like a pesky statement that won’t make a dent into the narrative we’re told to push.” The addition of some emotive female vocals in the chorus really helps to drive the message home.
Psychopath is a dark number with a great flow. The story here seems to be about someone Stouffer knows personally who lies, manipulates, and deceives his way into getting what he wants – a character possessing the trait stated in the title, presumably. The lyrics become more intense and their clarity increases as we move through the track until eventually we can tell that the subject of the song is dangerous:
“Tell me that you think you’d kill a man if you could get away
I’m like quit joking, talking like you missed a med-today
Alarms in my head like ‘Jacob, you should get away.'”
For a true deep-dive into the workings of Stouffer’s mind, check out Rants #1 – #4. Here he steps back from the music and discusses some of the issues he brings attention to across the album combined with personal stories, in a format that couldn’t be more fitting – rants. He even advises his listeners to put down his record and do some thinking for themselves, something we all could use a little more of.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
I Have the Life is everything you want in a song on your favorite summer playlist. It’s an expertly woven tapestry of the trials of people in Stouffer’s life and his own, and an explanation of how Stouffer is better off without their toxicity. Not only is the story being told complex and engaging, but the song itself is a supremely catchy, excellently produced track. The rhythm guitar has a bit of an island vibe (Some coastal Florida roots coming through, perhaps?) and at the first chorus when the keys and the full beat kicks in, Stouffer sings;
“The breeze from the bay brushes up with my face,
While the sun snaps a wink at the waves, I have the life,
I have the life.”
This track has everything – a great beat, a solid hook, a catchy melody, and a real story. Gems like this are always a real treat to find.
Tight rapping with a great flow. Introspective, presenting true counter-culture ideas to his listeners. Great beats, great lyrics, and great melodies. Jacob Stouffer has a profound and individual take on a wide range of complex societal ideas presented on this decidedly solid debut release. The record is full of high notes with I Have The Life at the peak, and if we get more from Stouffer like this in the future, we suspect Ranting Over Cigars will be just the beginning.
BELOW: Listen to his album Ranting Over Cigars and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Jacob Stouffer by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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