Artist of the Week: Pigeon John


2010 album 'Dragon Slayer'


Where would you have found the young teenager Pigeon John on Thursday nights in the 1990’s? Every week from 8-10pm aspiring hip-hop MCs and poets gathered in South Central Los Angeles, California at The Good Life Cafe. Pigeon John, as well as other notable artists and names such as Fatlip (Pharcyde), Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5), Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Myka 9 and many others filed in on those nights with the hope of having the opportunity to perform a song to the audience. Whether they played a written song or freestyled, the audience was the judge if their music belonged on stage. This cafe was as true and real as hip-hop gets, and was the early foundation of many artists music careers.

Known for his feel-good lyrics, and wide ranging voice and energetic style, Pigeon John is back at it again with his most recent release of his 5th official studio album Dragon Slayer. Coming off his feel-good 2006 album Pigeon John and The Summertime Pool Party, Dragon Slayer is another solid release from the Hawthorne, California native. PJ steers away from his typical MPC/sample based production as he has shown on previous records, and collaborates with Herve Salters (of General Elektrik) for a whole new instrumented feel to this record. As expected, Pigeon Johns creativity and enthusiastic style is evident once again in this already classic-album.  Compared to his other recordings, Dragon Slayer‘s production is a bit slower, however it still presents his signature sound he has crafted he has been producing for over 10 years.

One of the most slept-on hip-hop artists to date, Pigeon John has been producing quality music since the end of 1990’s and how he is still flying under the radar for most music fans is beyond me. Do yourself and favor and pick up any of PJ’s albums and you’ll have it on replay for rest of the month. Whether he is singing on the chorus, making a joke at the end of a song, or finishing one of his creative word-play verses, PJ’s wisdom and humor is his very distinct. Pigeon John continues to make his statement within underground hip-hop and gain much earned respect; like his fitting song quote from “The Bomb” in Dragon Slayer, “I’m the bomb and am about to blow up”.

Bryce Poulin



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