By Arlene Lormestoire
Who said 6 seconds can’t turn you into a pop-rap artist?
The duo, Jack & Jack is made up of viners Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky who post 6 second vines of comedy and song covers. Rising to prominence from the followers gained from their vines, they transformed themselves from comedians from a city in Nebraska to artists that travel all over. Echoing the transformation of then-youtube singer Justin Bieber, the two boys teamed up to form yet another pop-rap style that is played in the rooms of pre-teenage girls across the globe.
I’ll admit, the middle school girl in me has at least one song that has captured most of my attention. “Wild Life” highlights the rapid rapping skills of Jack Johnson, who due to his baby face and short stature does not seem capable of handling such verses. At first listen, his verses appear to be a muddle of words that are well-placed between choruses. And that they are. Lines such as“You know me, I’m all up in the party like a V.I.P./And everything is looking better from my P.O.V.” Ground-breaking? Probably not. However, his skill and flow are surprisingly well done, quickly intertwining the main theme of getting wild and going crazy.
Similarly, his rapping in “California” is precise and diverse – Johnson doesn’t stick to the same flow, he changes tempo skillfully. Even the transformation from slow rap to fast rap is almost unnoticeable, which is no small feat. If you listen to it long enough, you may be fooled that he is rapping about the hard life when he is simply rapping about the state of California.
As for the choruses in Jack & Jack, completed by Jack Gilinsky, they are unfortunately on the teetering line between unoriginal and overdone. When you think the choruses should be catchy, featuring lines that would beckon you towards their songs they only push you farther away. The chorus featured in “California” isn’t a chorus at all, but a few lines that are enhanced by the use of digital voice fluctuations, commonly used in the electronic dance music genre. The reliance on digital soundbites rather than a well-formed chorus is discouraging, and distracts from the true potential of the duo itself. Thus, the chorus is only as good as something you would hear on Radio Disney, at a junior prom or when you’re skipping to the good verses of a song in order to get to the real talent – Jack Johnson’s rapping.
Is Jack & Jack worth listening to? Yes and no. The production of their songs are just right for any dance, while the rapping adds an interesting element to what would be too predictable of a song. The chorus, however, deserves to be well thought of in order to change the scope and heighten the potential of Jack & Jack. I would definitely keep an eye out for this duo, because not only are they rising, they have the abilities to become better with the simple re-arrangement of melodies. The rapper Jack Johnson’s importance is evident to the nature of Jack & Jack’s music and the duo itself. So if all else fails, we could always have a new, short Eminem on our hands.
Arlene Lormestoire is a Highlighter Staff Columnist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org