Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jay Eff Kay America: Suicide Notes Vol. 1

I rarely check out independent projects because I'm like everybody else, unless it's shoved down my throat, I won't search for it. I know I'm missing out on some heart drenched music. Enter Jay Eff Kay. I don't know much at all about him but from listening to his debut America: Suicide Notes Vol. 1 I was thoroughly entertained.

On first listen you immediately think: Eminem. But Jay Eff Kay isn't crazy and he is not intent on tearing TRL or Britney Spears a new asshole; his aim is much higher and thoughtful. His content, and convictions, are obvious on the intro: America is fucked up. As depressing as his topics sound, he is able to make political rap or social commentary actually funny and relevant. One thing I like about his comedic side is I don't think he wrote them to laugh at them--he meant them; it isn't a joke. On "Den of Rats" his concise rant on the America's structure and moot point of trying to fight back is scarily true. Some of what he says on "Say It To My Face" may sound crazy but he takes initiative to say what some of us wish we could say. While his women/skank tracks are funny, they can sound a bit tried by album's end.

Lyrically and sonically America is cohesive. He's on point and on beat. He knows what to do on the mic. His delivery is smooth and he's able to switch it up throughout a track. The best part of "I'm All Over It" is when he hits a chord and continues to attack. He'll spit a few bars and then go back and give you more to bite off of. The beats fit with his themes; they almost take on a dark and gritty sound. Surprisingly, the "Fuck the World" beat is relaxing and hopeful.

At times Jay Eff Kay can sound like he talks too much and with a 4:30 minute song, there's a lot to sift through because he packs each line with consciousness. There are very few moments of filler on America. It's not a negative thing that he intends to you give his all but I enjoyed his short songs too. "The Gift & The Curse" and "Lawyer's Libretto" provide more personal moments on America.

After a few listens through I pegged Jay Eff Kay as a comedic rapper who got off pointing at you and laughing. But on successive trips I've chalked his comedic side as a viable asset--not his only one though. From "Paranoid 2007" to "Fuck the World"--spanning 6 tracks--he really captivated me. The audacity expressed is an essential trait; Jay Eff Kay is past being ballsy. He retains a high energy and leaves resonating moments. It will be interesting to see what Jay Eff Kay sounds like next time out. America treads concept waters. Can he channel this energy to doing songs outside his liberal viewpoints? Equipped with his delivery and content driven rhymes, I look forward to Jay Eff Kay's talent expanding.

Jay Eff Kay's MySpace
Jay Eff Kay's Blog + MP3's


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