January 26, 2014

Jay Electronica "Unsigned Hype" (2004) + Style Wars EP

"There are multiple reasons for wanting to be successful in the world of rap music. Of course, the fame or the fortune are appealing, and a lil' bit of groupie love never hurt nobody, right? But for 3rd-Ward Magnolia native Jay Electronica, the sincerity of his music proves that it's love for the sport and a burning desire to return Hip-Hop to its rightful path that keeps his boat afloat. Obviously a student of the culture who's serious about his craft, Jay exhibits new-school hunger, old-school ideals and a keen ear for powerful beats (provided by heavyweight producers like Nottz, Jay Dee and Hi-Tek). With a refreshing frame of reference, he drives his mission's importance into listeners' consciousness over the smooth grooves of "Retro-Electro (Scenario 2004)" and to the beat of thumping drums and spine-tingling organ riffs on "Something To Hold On," where he reminds partygoers not to forget the everyday struggle of the 'hood. But what makes Jay's story so intriguing is that he breaks the stereotype of what a New Orleans MC is supposed to sound like. Clearly his time spent in ATL, Philly, Detroit and NY have had an influence on his impressive style."

"While numerous songs on his 20-track CD offer quotable verses ("Sucka MCs rock ice, but they really in flames" on "Lock, Stock and 1 Smoking Barrel") Mr. Electronica truly displays his lyrical talents and wordplay on joints like "So What You Sayin', 2004." After "dedicating this to all you wack muthaf#ckas rappin', go get a job," he takes out his anger on the mic, ripping: "Jay Electrolysis / Combing the globe like a geologist / Puttin' all of you p#ssies on display like gynecologists / Listen, I'm on a mission / Most of you n!ggas just spittin' / The wise comprehend the diction / Hypnotized with the rhythm / Lyrical circumcision / Toss the shmuck in the fire / Yeah, your man's and them is nice / But they ain't f#cking with sire / I'm a higher power." But deeper than just bragging, Jay takes time to address key political issues, such as post-9/11 America ("The Empire Strikes Back") and the breakdown of family ("Heaven and Hell"). Clearly on a mission to educate and enlighten, he doesn't waste many words. Exploring so many topics on his CD, one begins to wonder what the hell all these other rappers are really talking about. Hopefully, for Hip-Hop's sake, some of the more misguided will follow Jay Electronica's lead." - The Source, June 2004 (Unsigned Hype). Audio work?