Last Saturday, John Cozz hosted a release show for his new album, Salt, Pepper, Ketchup, in the basement of the Underground Skate Shop in Newark. The show featured an impressive lineup, paintings on display from local artists, homemade Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches, and well over a hundred people packed into the basement. I’ve previously written a review for Salt, Pepper, Ketchup in which I praised John for his D.I.Y. attitude and all of the hard work he put into creating this album. It was really great to see him get the payoff he deserved with this show, so first and foremost, congratulations, John.
I met John Cozz in the first weeks of doing N.J. Racket. He was playing at SOLO(s) Project House in Newark, opening for The Randy Haze Trio. I was taken aback by his set initially. He had kind of a crazy look, which matched his crazy sound. His voice was straining as he screamed songs about transporting heroin and potholes on 21 and going to college and his grandmother swimming in the Passaic River. He sure as fuck took us all on a ride with that set, and I for one didn’t have enough bread crumbs to find my way back home. I caught him after the show and told him about the site. He quickly started digging into his backpack and pulled out a copy of his first album, Fall into Place or Pieces, in a cracked CD case packed with self-made art and a stack of stickers that read “John Cozz is a no brain little prick, Stacy!” (That’s a Fast Times at Ridgemont High reference, if anyone missed it.)