I meant to put this up earlier, but studying has prevented me from really getting a good listen to the project up until today...
Code Red represents a huge artistic growth for one of Seattle's most talented young rhymesayers. Although Pinder's previous project, Backpack Wax gave us a preview of this talented emcee's lyrical ability with songs like "Black Heater," "Can't Trust Them," "M," "Out," the mixtape on the whole sounded just as one would expect--like a mixtape. The majority of tracks on the mixtape clocked in between one and two minutes, typically only providing a the listener with a brief, one verse insight into one of the Emerald City's most talented up and coming emcees.
This blogger was a fan of Backpack Wax and still bumps it from time to time, but Code Red is on another level, giving the listener seven full-length songs from this talented young artist. Sonically, the EP is very cohesive, featuring laid back production from Seattle legends Jake One, Kuddie Fresh, and Vitamin D that really adds to Pinder's flow, which just sounds comfortable over the beats provided. While much of the album discusses the process of coming up in the game today ("All That Fire," "Go Far,"), Pinder addresses several other issues ranging from his inability to say "I Love You" ("Three Words") to more politically-minded tracks addressing socioeconomic problems ("No Turnin Back").
The EP isn't perfect. There are a couple lines here and there that are delivered awkwardly (e.g. the third and fourth bar off of the chorus of "Three Words" and certain points of "Kill It"), but that's just me being picky and good more than outweighs the bad as Code Red proves to be one of the better releases, top to bottom, that I've ever heard out of the 206. Code Red is sonically very cohesive and cuts "Safe Place" and "All That Fire" make it more than worth the download. Likewise, "Go Far" holds up against any song that any national artist has dropped this year.
At the end of the day, Code Red witnesses the 21-year-old Renton High School grad getting co-signs from the legendary Little Brother rapper Big Pooh and rising underground star Toki Wright and proves to be his proper introduction to the national hip hop scene (by way of sites like 2dopeboyz). In the burgeoning Seattle hip hop scene, J.Pinder stands out as one of the most lyrically talented emcees looking to carry the banner of the city's scene to the national level. With a few more releases along the lines of Code Red, don't be surprised if Pinder makes it big in the next couple years.