It’s time for Deadseriousness to get back into music reviews mainly because the world is locked down and sports no longer exist and I refuse to write about Donald Trump telling people to shoot up Clorox so here’s a Jay Electronica review.
2020 was off to a slow start musically but we’ve got a few months worth of releases so let’s start with Jay Electronica FINALLY releasing his debut album ‘A Written Testimony’. A rapper who may have like, 6 songs ever yet is still considered one of the best rappers ever without ever sitting down and creating an album, ya know, that thing that rappers do.
But you can’t really blame him. Jay Electronica is married to Kate Rothschild, an heiress to a billion dollar banking empire. Let’s make one thing clear as hell: If I marry a billionaire, I’m never writing another word in my life. This would be the last article you ever read from me.
That context is important when you listen to his debut album that sounds like it was all recorded one afternoon in like, 3 hours and there wasn’t even an engineer in the room to fix the sound quality. Personally, I like when rap sounds like it was recorded on an old 1991 cassette tape so this isn’t a criticism so much of an acknowledgment that after all the anticipation, Jay just did this shit on a whim.
It’s impossible to not scratch your head when the first verse on this album is by Jay-Z on Ghosts of Soulja Slim because he’s uncredited. Oh, and because it’s Jay Electronica’s debut album and he’s not rapping yet.
It’s head scratching until you realize that Jay-Z is on every record and has the better verse on every record.
And that’s not to say that Electronica couldn’t keep up but I can’t stress enough how long we waited for a debut album and instead we got Jay-Z featuring Jay Electronica. There is not one song where Electronica even comes back in for a second verse. How do you release like, one guest verse every 10 months and show up to record your album with 8 stanzas in your pocket?
Shout out Kate Rothschild.
Shiny Suit Theory. I’m fairly sure this song came out in 2011. Maybe keep this one back in the time capsule you pulled it from. It wasn’t a dope song then and it sticks out like a sore thumb now.
Universal Soldier. This beat is nothing and Jay Electronica LOVES that little kid ‘yay’ sound effect. I wish he didn’t.
Fruits of the Spirit. As we get through more album reviews this year, you will learn I am a sucker for a great interlude. This is the best song on the album. There’s no Jay-Z and Electronica does his best actual rapping on a beat that isn’t boring as hell like the rest of the album provides. Do this more.
Ghost of Soulja Slim. I don’t love having the most popular rapper ever start your debut album but Jay Electronica’s entire career has been played by an entirely different set of rules.
Also real quick, I will never forget Jay-Z for saying ‘I’m planking on a million’ when planking was a viral trend for a couple months back in 2011 so OF COURSE this old relic would rap ‘get the gat, get the gat, get the gat’ because he went on the Internet that day in the studio for the first time in years.
Here’s another good Jay Electronica verse because he didn’t want to give us that many in his DEBUT ALBUM.