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‘Sounds Like Family’: Jackson Rappers Unify for Collaborative ‘Thanksgiving’ Album

Charles Palmer contacted Jamaan Hunter following the Legends of Summer II music showcase held at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson, Miss., across two nights in late July. Palmer had an idea for producing a collaborative album with the headliners of this year’s show.

He already had a concept. He already had some beats made. He already had hooks for potential songs. What he needed was someone to bring everyone together. Enter Jamaan Hunter.

“I had worked with all these guys before, so it was kind of easy,” Hunter told the Mississippi Free Press. “We got all the guys together. … Basically, all I did was arrange to make sure we had studio time every week. And in the process, the project began to start becoming big, so we started to make it bigger.”

The recording process began in August with recordings taking place at Jusa Studio every Tuesday. Charles and Jamaan would go in afterwards and add ad libs and choral elements to songs while making sure the tracks were properly mixed.

“We came up with the concept of ‘Thanksgiving’—that’s the name of (the album)—and the tagline we’ve been going with is ‘Thanksgiving’: the album, the showcase, the experience,” Hunter said.

Hollywood Luck raps the hook on “Turkey Bag,” the first single off the upcoming “Thanksgiving” album, and plays the character of Lil Chris from the film “Friday” in the music video, which premiered on Nov. 14, 2023. Video courtesy Jamaan Hunter / YouTube

The eight-track, 48-minute album will debut on Saturday, Nov. 18, with a show at Duling Hall on Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving. The album is a collective effort from rappers Coke Bumaye, Tricky Hudson, DONO Vegas, Hollywood Luck and Hunter’s little brother, Savvy.

“All these guys are from different parts of town, so it kind of fits into the title of it: It’s Thanksgiving,” Hunter said. “Everybody meeting up at grandma’s house, folks bringing their different dishes, different recipes. And that’s what it sounds like. It sounds like family.”

Ron 21 Hoops shot a music video for the first single off the album, “Turkey Bag.” The video, which premiered on Tuesday, Nov. 14, uses the film “Friday” as inspiration for its theme, with each artist playing a different character from the film. The concept popped into Hunter’s head one day, and after some discussions with the group, the director brought his vision to life.

The family theme will also be incorporated into the live show, where the artists will transition from song-to-song in a way that feels like an uncle talking to you, Hunter described. Elements such as these are what are going to make the show an actual experience instead of just a few guys on stage with a microphone, he said.

The rappers began recording the eight-track album back in August 2023, meeting up at Jusa Studio every Tuesday for sessions. Jamaan Hunter and Charles Palmer served as executive producers for the project. Photo courtesy Jamaan Hunter

Since the project’s announcement and the first single’s release, Hunter said they have noticed buzz surrounding the album—and even people they do not know are sharing the music.

“The misconception with Jackson is that we don’t work together, so this thing actually shows that this can be done,” Hunter said. “You can take five different artists. You can put them in the same room. They can work together. They can be on time.”

Hunter explained that the artists plan to create more music videos for the album and possibly tour in other cities where they already have bases like Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. So far, this project is already turning out to be a big deal culturally for the capital, he said, given that it has received so much support from the press and the city.

“There’s no backlash. There hasn’t been any hate, hasn’t been anybody poking their lip out or talking down about it. That’s what makes it big,” Hunter said. “These guys have done so much on their own …  So now, if they come together and do it, I think that’s what’s gonna make it bigger.”

“Thanksgiving” releases on Saturday, Nov. 18, across all major streaming platforms. “Turkey Bag,” the music video for the album’s first single, is available on YouTube. To experience the album live, buy tickets for the concert on Eventbrite. “Thanksgiving the Show” begins on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave., Jackson). 

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