F​.​A​.​K​.​E. (Friends And Known Enemies)

by Jess Jamez Figueroa

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This album was inspired by the people in my life, Good & Bad.


“They smiiiiiiiiiiile in your faaaaace…”

Sunday morning. It’s 7:53 in the damn AM. You wake up right after finally get back to your house from the graveyard shift to some BS you don’t have anything to do with but they expect you to rouse yourself from your zombie state for some empathy. Do they need advice or some words? Nah they need a loan for something that’s their fault. Grown-ass children, all around you.

You promise to help them out in a few hours – contingent on falling back and letting you get sleep – but your day had no part in that compact. Your girl turns to complain about how you help out your friends when they should know better, and and in your grogginess you step on a relationship mine – sloppy and drained you said something you really shouldn’t have that usually you’d know to keep mum on – and now you’re in a one-sided shouting match for the better part of the morning. Now where are you? Waiting on word for a freelance job to shore up some much-needed gwap, in a cold war with the wifey and you’re way too tired to smooth it out with some choice words and makeup sex, obligate to lend some funds to your sloppy friend, and dreading your night, where someone might get crazy and disrespect you at the club.

If this scenario reads familiar, then you’re probably Jess Jamez Figueroa. On his latest release, F.A.K.E. (Friends and Known Enemies), the Bronx Zu Animal and End of the Weak cornerstone spits about the trials and tribs of life, particularly the most dangerous game of them all: man. Agitated mental, strong heart material, low-salt diets – F.A.K.E. is all about the BX Puerto Rock’s physical in relation to his environment.

Everyone encounters people that affect their everyday. Whether it’s your close circle of friends or strangers in the streets, your daily life is shaped by every interaction and experience, no matter how immaterial it might seem. Larry David moments aside, there are people who bring you up, and people who bring you down. Though you’d like to believe that your inner circle would make things easy for you, sometimes they can be greater sources of grief than some random who gave you static on the train. Some people can bring you joy one day and grief the next, and it’s not even always intentional. You might have fake friends or shady characters sidle up to you, but sometimes it’s a matter of your closest peoples having the kind of character flaws that hold you both back.

Taken as a concept album, rather than just a 12-track assemblage of some of the best production and rapping to come out the Bronx Zu Animalz camp of late, the brasher moments on F.A.K.E. feel like corrective measures, expressions of ego to persevere through the wear and tear of all these hassles and disappointments. People in your life act like a gauntlet, and in return you wield your own confidence like an “American Gladiators” joust.

F.A.K.E. – featuring production from Jess Jamez Figueroa himself and a special guest verse from Jus Daze – is available for free download now from Bandcamp.


released July 10, 2012

Executive Producers: Jesse Figueroa, Rasheed Goodlowe, Lawrence Cabesa



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Jess Jamez Music New York, New York

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-Jess Jamez Figueroa

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