“P.M. Dawn’s fourth release might be the Pet Sounds of hip-hop,” declared Entertainment Weekly of the Jersey City duo’s 1998 album, Dearest Christian, I’m So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad. Sadly, though, the album never got the kind of widespread respect that the Beach Boys’ masterpiece did. P.M. Dawn, who had created their own brand of pop-savvy, spiritually inclined hip-hop, had had plenty of commercial successful earlier in the decade, with songs such as “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” and “I’d Die Without You.” But Dearest Christian never found much of an audience, and P.M. Dawn, made up of brothers Attrell Cordes (Prince Be) Jarrett Cordes (J.C. the Eternal), soon fell out of the public eye altogether.
Dearest Christian ends with “Untitled,” a complex and emotionally devastating collection of song fragments, pieced together in the manner of the The Beatles’ Abbey Road medley. Listen to it below if you’re wondering why Entertainment Weekly gave the album such high praise, or why this little-heard song belongs on this list.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.