JessB's sophomore EP is ushering in a new era for this Kiwi rapper, as she moves on from stunting and talking herself up and instead graduating - already - to the kind of in-depth storytelling it's taken some rappers decades to make their peace with.

That said, there's still a fair amount of self-hype (as you'd expect from any rapper) and JessB does it with style, particularly on opening track Mood, on which she raps about her worldwide support system of women: "Just some big boss bitches making boss moves."

But unlike on Bloom, which now feels timid by comparison, it's gloves off on New Views as Jess announces: "Mouth no filter, now I stand a little bigger / Got my shoulders back, outfit a little slicker."

To go with her new look and attitude, she's got a slew of new collaborators, having pulled in everyone from rising Kiwi star Paige to one of the UK's biggest up-and-coming dancehall artists, Big Zeeks.


And while songs like Mood, Time Out and Bump, Bump are all about delivering a good time full of bravado (and trust me, they do), Jess also opens up about love, commitment, heartbreak and healing.

On So Low (featuring up-and-coming Kiwi artist Paige), JessB makes the biggest departure in both style and content, dropping the production for a guitar and a sweet pop vocal, over which she raps about a love lost.

"I loved her and she let me go / tryna find my way back home / lost my way but now I know / I gotta find a love of my own."

And building on that is New Era, a self-love banger on which she raps: "The vision that I'm building is that I am enough / Yeah the mission right now is that I am filling my cup / and I'm living for myself and not just for someone / 'cause love can be a kind of prison if only one shows up."

The EP could've been better as an album - at just seven songs, it leaves you wanting more in that you get the sense she had so much more to say.

It might also have been better going out on the likes of New Era than its final track, POE, particularly as New Era finishes on the line "it's the new era, we are quite enough / it's the new era, see the fight in us / put 'em up", which feels like the mission statement of this whole album.

But JessB's unique style, flair, outlook and honesty is something we could do with more of, so roll on that debut album.

JessB, New Views

Artist: JessB
Album: New Views
Verdict: A new era for one of NZ's most promising rappers