Perpetually album-less Jay Electramadaanmuhammada’salaamaleikum dropped a new track simply because someone on Twitter asked him to. One of the most long-anticipated rap albums in recent history and he releases new material because of a random tweet. I know Twitter has been used to knock down dictators and fuel revolutions, but this has to be up there with its most amazing accomplishments.
I have too many thoughts on this shining beacon of music so I’m going to resort, once again, to a numbered list.
- This closely resembles the work he did on “Eternal Sunshine” – “No drums, no hook, just new shit.” I don’t know anyone who’s as adept at rapping over non-beats. It also brings back memories of “Exhibit A” with the use of old movie dialogue to reinforce themes. Back then it was Willy Wonka, this time around it’s Wizard of Oz right after a clip from Elijah Muhammad. I love the mythology he builds around himself with these samples.
- The song is neatly divisible into thirds – dialogue samples, Jay, and then LaTonya Givens. Jay’s part is the smallest slice, but it’s the most impactful.
- The piano sample is Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Bibo No Aozora,” a beautiful piece you may also recognize from the Trey Songz track, “Can’t Be Friends.” He speeds it up and adds a beat, which is fine, but again, Jay heard this and decided to rap over it as is.
- “The church you go to pray in it, the work is on the outside / staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies.”
- Jay has the best raps about spirituality. Makes all those “I know I’m a sinner but I love Jesus” raps seem small.
- Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn) has got to be the new never-to-be-released album that we use as a punch line, right? The new My Bloody Valentine got released. Chinese Democracy got released. Jay released the tracklist for this album in mid-2012. In 10 years we’re going to be making jokes like, “I’ll believe that when Jay Electronica releases Act II,” or “This guy is taking longer in the bathroom than Jay Electronica on Act II.”
- But if he keeps giving snippets like this, I have a feeling we’ll be happy to beg him for the album.
- I’m not crying.
If this is too sensitive for you: Jay Electronica & Jay-Z also just did this freestyle that jabs at Drake.