What The F*ck Is A Jay Electronica? - Intro to Hip-Hop Part 11
Today we're listening to the brilliant Lyricist Jay Electronica.
Note: This is an experience please do not proceed past this point without vices, drinks, smokes and quality speakers/headphones.
Hey guys it’s been a long time since I’ve added to the Hip-Hop series but here we go. Today we’ll be talking about a controversial figure known as Jay Electronica. A brilliant lyricist but his affiliation with the Nation of Islam makes him a bit polarizing in this current age. But as usual here we focus on the art, and the art is good.
Jay Elec is from the infamous Magnolia Projects in New Orleans. Those projects gave birth to hip hop legends like Juvenile, Soulja Slim. But Jay can probably tell you his story better than I can. So let’s kick it off with ‘Exhibit C’, take your time with this one.
BARRRSSSS FORRRRR DAAAAYYYYYSSSSSS. This song is produced by the great hip-hop producer ‘Just Blaze’ so you know the beat is excellent and Jay’s delivery didn’t miss a beat. This song is literally perfect, he even switched languages half way through it. Crazy, and my favorite line:
“When you talk that tough talk I never feel you. You sound real good and you play the part well. But the energy you’re giving out is so unfamiliar, I don’t feel ya.”
If you’re a real guy you felt that line in your bones. Anyway, let’s continue. Jay Electronica is signed to Jay-Z’s record label ROC Nation and he has many songs featuring Jay-Z. Let me introduce you to one of my favorites. You’re in for a treat, take a sip/toke before this one.
“Some of the cons I suffered for pros”. I’m in love with that beat, Jay Elec started off strong, Jay-Z finished strong. This song makes me visualize the ending of some type of ancient war movie and some empire got conquered in the end. Fine wine for the victors huh…
Fun fact about Jay Elec, he had an affair with a Rothschild and broke up their marriage. I guess rich girl need someone that could actually lay it down LMAO.
Now let’s go back in time a bit into one of my favorite mixtapes ‘What The F*ck Is A Jay Electronica’. In that mixtape we will find a song called ‘Renaissance Man’. Let’s listen to that:
I used to listen to this song in the military on rainy mornings on my way home after being up all night, I get flashbacks listening to this. This mixtape was a bit earlier in Jay’s career but his lyricism was still on point.
Fun fact about Jay Elec is that he speaks with a really bad stutter but when he raps the stutter is completely gone, crazy.
Another song from that Mixtape is ‘Abracadabra’ and it takes inspiration from the Movie ‘The Prestige’, Let’s go:
“I’m a simple man, you understand? Mastering my temple man, trying to expand”. “Writing on my moleskin on the train to Canarsie” That line is so relatable to me because Canarsie is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. When I’m in NY I take the L train to Canarsie all the time. The highlight of this song is the beginning where Jay Elec is talking about life in a real mysterious but optimistic way.
“Wake up to your grave, it's the reminder on the clock
And those fleeting bits of satisfaction, turn to afterthoughts
But if you say the magic word
You could call back all the birds
And see that fire in the sky, burn everything back to life
You don't have to sleep to dream and live in paradise
Abracadabra, are you watchin' closely?
Can you feel the dawn approaching?”
To this day I’m not fully sure of what specifically he means by this. Here’s what I understand from it: We’re all mortal and the thought of it scares us. But if you say “abracadabra” you can bright light back into your life and have heaven on earth?
Questions for Gucci Mane….
The last song we’re going to take a look at is ‘Exhibit A’
“Me and my conglomerates, shall remain anonymous”. It’s almost like he was talking about us :) . I hope I did a good job introducing you to Jay Electronica. My goal with this series is not to give you a complete guide but a good enough taste that inspires you to go out on your own and discover for yourself. Hip-Hop is the only genre of music where there’s a song, mixtape, album out there for everyone. I don’t want to rob you of the gift of discovery.
As always, thanks for reading.
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