Jay Electronica ends the suspense, delivers ‘A Written Testimony’ after 10 years; See how many stars it gets

Jay Electronica (Photo source: instagram @jayelectronica)

After 10 years of anticipation Jay Electronica has finally released his debut album, A Written Testimony. The project is touted as his first solo effort, however rap icon JAY-Z joins Electronica on nearly every song. Having your label boss who happens to be one of the worlds best rappers on your album has to be a cheat code. It really doesn’t matter because the chemistry between Electronica and Jay is unforced and natural. 

The bulk of the album was produced by Electronica. The minimalist approach Electronica takes fits his delivery and allows his poetic cadence to shine. The other producers included on the release are No I.D., Alchemist, Swizz Beatz, AraabMUZIK, Alchemist, Khruangbin, G. Ry and Hit-Boy

Electronica went into seclusion after signing with Roc Nation in 2010. The anticipation for his album was high but soon took the road of Dr. Dre’s Detox, meaning it probably was never coming. On February 7, 2020 Electronica announced on twitter that his album was finally coming and it would be out “in 40 days”. The anticipation was reset and Jay Electronica’s legend was resurrected. 

Lyrically Electronica is as sharp as ever. He explains why it took so long for his debut to come on “Ezekiel’s Wheel” “Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my pen/Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my sin/Sometimes like Santiago, in crucial parts of my novel/The only logical option was to transform into the wind” 

His verses serves as a look inside the mind of a recluse. The words appear as the spirit of an author who has penned a memoir sharing his most personal thoughts. 

The JAY-Z we hear on this album is the one who once rapped on his album Kingdom Come “Truthfully I want to rhyme like Common Sense (But I did five Mil)I ain’t been rhyming like Common since”

JAY-Z is a certified billionaire and we get revolutionary JAY on this project. On “The Ghost Of Soulja Slim” JAY-Z raps “Now here’s some jewelry/No civilization is conquered from the outside/Until it destroys itself from within, pen/Put a pin in that/We’ll come back when I fin/You can’t talk how I talk/‘Cause you ain’t been where I been,Young”

A Written Testimony comes to us as the world struggles with the corona virus pandemic and the United States in the grips of a national emergency. Electronica encapsulates the moment perfectly in one line. “What a time we living in/Just like the scripture says/Earthquakes, fires and plagues, the resurrection of the dead” he raps. 

Stand out tracks are “Ghost of Soulja Slim”, “The Neverending Story”, “Ezekiel’s Wheel (feat The Dream) and “A.P.I.D.T.A.”

A Written Testimony is clearly classic material. The only thing that would have added to this project is more Jay electronica. For that reason it gets 4 and a half stars.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What do you think of A Written Testimony? Was it worth the wait. Share in the comments. Listen to A Written Testimony below.

Jadakiss remembers and honors Icepick Jay on ‘Ignatius’

Ignatius artwork (Photo source: instagram @jadakiss)

The inspiration behind Jadakiss’s fifth solo album Ignatius is an emotional one. He created this project to honor his close friend and colleague Ignatius “Icepick Jay” Jackson who passed away in 2017 due to colon cancer. Jackson was instrumental in Jada’s career as well as others such as Eve and Swizz Beatz. Jada created this album as an opportunity to speak his last words to his close friend, his brother. 

Ignatius is not the grimy sound many may be looking for. This project is more polished and feels more like something you can ride to rather than ride out to. “Me” is the closest one will get to hearing early 2000 Jada and even then he laments on his friend. “I’m in a group meeting they took Pick from us now it’s just Louch, P and (ME)” That particular song is nostalgic because he raps around the sample and uses it as base of his delivery.

In an interview with The Breakfast Club Jada points to why Ignatius sounds the way it does. “I tried to do a lot of the features that he (Icepick Jay) would always be in my ear (about)” Because of that this 13 track venture features Pusha T, John Legend, Rick Ross, Dej Loaf and Ty Dolla $ign.

Stand out tracks are “Me”, “(NYB) Need Your Best” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Kisses to the Sky”featuring Rick Ross and Emanny” “Huntin Season” featuring Pusha T and “Keep it 100”

In 2020 it’s great to hear and inspired and sharp Jada. Ignatius is a solid project. The live instrumentation that was done in post production makes for something more mature and musical.

What do you think of Ignatius? Does Jadakiss still have it? What’s your favorite song? How would you rate this project? Share in the comments below.

Listen to Ignatius below.

-Precise

Stream “I’m Dreaming (Don’t Wake Me)” by Precise

‘PTSD’ is G Herbo at his most vulnerable

G Herbo has delivered one of the strongest sophomore projects in recent time with PTSD. The so-called sophomore jinx does not appear to be an issue for the Chicago rapper. PTSD is the follow up to his 2017 offering Humble Beast. Herbo has come into his own.

Lyrically Herbo maintains his street edge and it’s more polished. He comes right out of the gate blasting. On ‘Intro” Herbo raps “I do it for the haves and the have nots, all he had was a half and a glass pot, gotta race till he the first one with the last rock, every day you see his face just like a mascot, trapping out the Honda, no he never had a stash box, stuck to armed violence, that was at the last spot”

Herbo’s voice and delivery carry the pain and authenticity of someone who has experienced trauma on multiple levels. This vulnerability is most evident on “Gangstas Cry” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid. He laments about losing a friend to the violence that’s had a grip on the city for many years. “I stayed up the longest when my n—- died, I poured up some more so I could stop from crying. Relapsed after quitting like my second time, but I know I wanna numb the pain that’s inside” Herbo raps.

The title track “PTSD” featuring the late Juice Wrld, Chance the Rapper and Lil Uzi Vert is a glimpse inside of the minds of these young stars. The chorus is haunting and emotional. Hearing Juice Wrld sing the chorus sounds like a plea for help ‘I made it on my own, the said I’d be in jail or dead, I’ve seen my brothers fall over and over again. Don’t stand too close to me, I got PTSD” 

Herbo’s unguarded approach is what makes this project so relatable. The stand out tracks are “Gangbangin”, “PTSD” “Lawyer Fees” and “Intuition.”  Herbo gave us a classic and continues the tradition of Chicago rappers providing substance. 

Take a listen to ‘PTSD’ below.

Stream “A Killer Joe” by Precise below

Is Gang Starr’s latest project ‘One of the Best Yet’?

The legendary hip-hop group Gang Starr released One of the Best Yet and it is a welcome addition to an overall underwhelming 2019 when it comes to new rap music. DJ Premier is the only surviving member of Gang Starr. Keith Edward Elam also known as GURU (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) died on April 10, 2010. This project comes 16 years after their last official release The Ownerz.

DJ Premier puts his best foot forward when paring Guru’s posthumous verses with current features. Before the official project was released, Dj Premier dropped the single “Family and Loyalty” featuring J. Cole. Guru’s voice rings prominently on the song and J. Cole steps in with possibly one of the best features of the year as he raps “J. Cole..Who’d a thought I woulda been rhyming with ghosts Guru flows forever like a diamond and most.. could never afford the precious jewels.. that’s precisely why I’m blessing you.. with clear cut messages.. I’m destined to.. invest in urban sections where depression rules.”

One of the Best Yet provides the listener with the raw boom bap DJ Premier production as a result Guru’s lyricism still cuts through even in these times. On “Business or Art” featuring Talib Kweli, Guru raps “Heres one for Spin, Billboard and Rollingstone hip-hop is so organic it will grow on its own, we watch em throw money at it with clout and power, but after a while things faded out and went sour.” Many would say that this sour space that Guru is speaking of is where we are right now. This is exactly why One of the Best Yet is so refreshing because it’s just real rap with no filler or gimmicks.

The standout songs on this album are “Lights Out (feat. M.O.P.)” “Hit Man (feat. Q Tip)” “Family and Loyalty (feat. J. Cole)” and “Get Together (feat. Ne-Yo & Nitty Scott)

Have you heard One of the Best Yet? What do you think?

Check out the video for “Family and Loyalty” off of the One of the Best Yet below

Listen to/Buy Speak Life by Precise below.

Kanye’s ‘Jesus is King’ is his redemption.

Kanye finally released Jesus is King and it feels like he has made up his mind about the direction of his life. Very few artists have allowed the public to see such a public and intimate transformation. This is what makes Kanye who he is. He is bold in all of his positions, no matter how misguided or uniformed they may be. He is open to saying he is wrong and he is vulnerable enough to give it all up to God.

Jesus is King is Kanye “getting saved” in public view. It’s takes Christians to task. Do the Christians who dismissed him accept his repentance? Does it even matter if they do? “In the father we put our faith” West says on “Use this Gospel” where he reunites The Clipse and features smooth jazz legend Kenny G.

The album also features Ty Dollar $ign, Fred Hammond and Ant Clemons. On “Everything We Need,”  “Switch my switch my attitude, I’m so I’m so radical, all these people mad at dude, this for who it matter to.” West does not run away from cancel culture or whoever has anything to say about him and his choices. On “Jesus Is King” we find a spokesperson for redemption and the acknowledgment of God.

The project is twenty seven minutes long and closes out with horns blaring and declaring “Jesus is Lord”.

I was expecting more of the Sunday Service songs he has been performing around the country, but this project is more personal. Kanye is letting us into his salvation and wants us to join him.

Say what you want about Kanye West, one thing you can never say is that he is boring and shallow.

I give this project four out of five stars. Seven out of the eleven songs on here are certified hits and provide us yet another Kanye. I like this Kanye.

Did you hear Jesus is King? What did you think?