In the spirit of YKI’s journey to the South this weekend, I present Exhibit C, an outstanding post-underground record from hip hop’s savior/recluse Jay Electronica.
An intensely epic experience with resonant lyrical content and spectacular flow, Jay’s legend continues to grow. From his roots in New Orleans to living homeless after Katrina.
Searching for answers in an MPC player, Jay Electronica has incorporated the influences of DJ Premier, Jay Dilla and El-P together with the lyrical sensibilities of Andre Benjamin, Scarface and early Mos Def to form what may be the most accessible package of true hip hop since Aquemini.
Jay Electronica – Exhibit C
When I was sleepin on the train,
sleepin on Meserole Ave out in the rain
without even a single slice of pizza to my name
too proud to beg for change mastering the pain
when new york niggas were calling southern rappers lame,
but then jacking our slang
I used to get dizzy spells
and hear a little ring
the voice of a Angel
telling me my name
telling me that one day imma be a great man transforming with the MegatronDon spittin out flames,
eatin wack rappers alive shittin out chains.
I ain’t believe it then.
Nigga I was homeless
Fightin, shootin dice, smokin weed on the corners
tryna find the meaning of life in a corona
till the 5 percenters rolled up on a nigga and informed him:
“you either build or destroy. Where you come from?”
“The Magnolia projects in the 3rd ward slum”
“Hmmm… its quite amazing that you rhyme how you do
and how you shine like tou grew up in a shrine in Peru.”
Question14 – Muslim Lesson 2: Dip over, Civilize a 85er.
I make the devil hit his knees and say the Our Father.
You rockin with the True and Living
shot out to Lights Out, Joseph I, Chewy Bivens,
shout out to Baltimore, Baton Rouge, my crew in Richmond.
While y’all debated who the truth was like Jews and Christians
I was on Cecil B, Broad Street, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker.
6 mile, 7 mile, Hartwell, Gratiot: Where niggas really would pack a uhaul truck up,
put the high beams on, drive up on the curb at a barbecue and hop out the back like “what’s up!”,
kill a nigga, rob a nigga, take a nigga, bust up.
That’s why when you talk the tough talk I never feel ya.
You sound real good and you play the part well, but the energy you givin off is so unfamiliar.
Nas hit me up on the phone, said “What you waitin on?”
Tip hit me up with a twitt, said “What you waitin on?”
Diddy send a text every hour on the dot sayin “When you gon drop that verse nigga you taking long”
So now I’m back spittin that He Could Pass A Polygraph
that Reverend Run rockin adidas out on Hollis Ave
That FOI, Marcus Garvey, Nikki Tesla
I shock like a eel
They call me Jay Electronica
Call me Jay ElecHannukah
Jay ElecRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Supana Watallah through your monitor.
My uzi still weighs a ton check the barometer
I’m hotter than the muthafuckin sun check the thermometer.
I’m bringing ancient mathematics back to modern man.
My momma told me never throw a stone and hide your hand.
I got a lot of family, you got a lot of fans.
That’s why the people got my back like the Verizon man.
I play the back and fade to black and then devise a plan.
Out in London, smoking, vibin while I ride the tram.
Givin’ out that raw food to lions disguised as lambs,
And, by the time they get they seats hot,
And deploy all they henchmen to come at me from the treetops,
I’m chillin out at Tweetstock,
Building by the millions,
My light is brilliant.