I’m a long time listener of Gilles Peterson, close on 12 years now since he joined Radio 1, and way back in January 08 he featured a then unknown (to me) rapper going by the name of Jay Electronica. The guy comes with a flow part MF Doom, part NAS over soundscapes part Madlib part Jaydee. Yeah I know. Big names to be throwing around but seriously, they’re not lazy comparisons, the guy has cajones.
His first “official” single Exhibit A, produced by Just Blaze, is a quality piece of work;
but it’s Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) which got tongues wagging and brought him to Gilles’ attention. A 15 minute track (which kicks off the aforementioned podcast) with snippets of film dialogue, Jay’s raps, based on the soundtrack to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is classy. The following youtube video has nine minutes of Act 1, trimmed due to youtube length constraints, but it’ll show you this guy is special.
All of this stuff is in the public domain by the way. Put your super google technique to good use and you’ll find his discography spread across the blogosphere somewhere. Make his Wikipedia Discography entry your checklist if you wish.
Anyway, it seems Jay is making a break for the overground now (in the UK at least) Already making waves towards the end of 09 in the states, his Exhibit C EP is up on iTunes (and Exhibit A) for you to invest in and with Zane Lowe rinsing it on his show the other night we might finally see him get some wider recognition.
Lets hope so because the hip hop most people be listening to at the moment is not doing the art form any favours. Yeah. I’m looking at you Black Eyed Peas…