Album Review: Thy Will Be Done by Jabee and Thelonious Martin

Thy Will Be Done, the third in a collaborative trilogy, boasts smooth beats, smart verses, choice samples, and complementary features to further enrich the catalog of local hip-hop icon Jabee.

A message from the Make Oklahoma Weirder team: this article was originally written by Evan Jarvicks in 2019 and is being released as part of MOW’s “VVeirder VVinter Vault” of 2023.

If hip-hop is gospel, then emcees are preachers, and few gather a congregation like Jabee. His ability to cross over in Oklahoma, reaching beyond the confines of its rap scenes to catch the ears of suburbanites and policy-makers alike, is one of his more impressive achievements.

Oklahoma is a hard place to be heard in hip-hop, and it takes a sure foot and a mountain climb to get even close. Nonetheless, Jabee has grown into a local celebrity, not just as a hip-hop artist and businessman, but also as a moral compass. He has a visible pulpit, and he uses it to preach awareness.

 Jabee Williams - musical artist, EMMY Award winner, entrepreneur, and community activist
Jabee Williams – musical artist, EMMY Award winner, entrepreneur, and community activist

While Jabee puts most of his artistic eggs into his full-length albums, which drop every few years, he spreads his attention to other musical projects all the time. While working toward 2020’s double LP This World Is So Fragile and Cruel, I’m Glad I Got You, he released multiple mixtapes and EPs along the way. While they don’t carry the same weight as his bigger releases (by design), they still tend to remain underseen in the shadows of his milestone works.

One such project is Thy Will Be Done, a feature-heavy collaboration with Thelonious Martin that dropped early in 2019. It is the third in a series of EPs that draws thematic inspiration from the Lord’s Prayer, following As It Is In Heaven and Deliver Us From Evil. Chicago-based producer Martin returns with smooth beats and choice samples while Jabee raps pages from his life.

Although Thy Will Be Done includes references ranging from WorldStar to Kurt Vonnegut, it doesn’t overreach, and it doesn’t chase trends. It sticks to the basics. Jabee gives a fresh coat of 2019 paint to long-time muses like lessons from the school of hard knocks and distrust in the game. He can write raps in his sleep at this point if he wants, but he turns in some highlights here.

The high marks aren’t all his, though, as his remarkable spread of guests includes frequent collaborator Murs on “School Song”. “Angel Spit”, in turn, finds Jabee kicking off a quadruple header of dazzling relay race verses with Donwill, Runt, and Stik Figa.

This is a quality EP that stands proudly in line with the Jabee catalog, which is itself a growing tome of Oklahoma hip-hop psalms. Preaching them doesn’t come without its share of persecution, a subject Jabee knows well. Ultimately, however, the wheat separates from the chaff, and nourishment prevails.

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aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.

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