Artist Profile – Jay Rock

“How cool is gang banging?
Its love when you and your homies hanging huh
Your uncles had did it so its a chain reaction
Relate to your homies because them too are bastards
Feel that your hood color look good in jordans
Spiking your name on the wall to feel important
Banging on niggas hope they push in line
Say the wrong street corner its go time”

Overdue. The forgotten TDE member, is always the one that gets the least treatment. It’s sad. It’s like the forgotten brother int he family when all of the other siblings are getting shine, but at the same time, it’s not like he’s wack, it’s just timing. Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you, the final member of the Black Hippy crew featured on TSB (The STi….you get the point), Mr. Jay Rock.

How I started listening to his music, I think it was from listening to Kendrick Lamar (pretty much it all started with Kendrick), and at the same time it would only be fair to listen to the whole crew than just to one rapper, because I wanted to see exactly how equal they were and see how their styles differentiated and still managed to work well with each other.

He hails from Watts, which is a well-known region in the South Central Los Angeles area (same area as Tyrese). OH, now I know where I heard of him first; It was on ScHoolboy Q‘s ‘WHat’s ta Word’ track off of  his Setbacks mixtape. He brought such hunger and aggression to the mic, and it was just adrenaline pumping. It was wicked to hear, and from there I was like, okay let me see what else he has. I downloaded his ‘Black Friday‘ mixtape and that was my start. The approach of the mixtape had a very west coast feel to it of the G-Funk era, and the storytelling over gang affiliations, violence, and struggles is what made me appeal to him more. He was real with his words, and you can picture the visuals that he was bringing to his songs. For example, ‘Diary of a Broke Nigga’ spoke to me; although there are different degrees of being broke in a middle class housing and living in impoverished conditions, it was a song that I can relate to, because there are times when you have to do what you have to do just to get to the next day, and also what lengths would you go just to get some money? A lot of people who have lived in areas like the ghetto can relate to that. His stories were of the streets – they’re gritty and gangster. That’s his approach.

Not all rappers have to be lyrical. Hip Hop was not created just for every artist to be a Nas or Biggie. It’s a form of storytelling over rhythm. Many people have seemed to lose that aspect of what rapping is, and therefore many people are looked over because of that. Jay Rock is one of those examples, but he did get recognition when he made the XXL Freshman 2010 list (Which included, Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole, Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean, Nipsey Hussle, and Fashawn) and that was a big accomplishment for him.

He dropped his album last summer as part of the TDE sweep that started in July and ran until just recently with Ab-Soul‘s ‘Control System.’ Follow Me Home is one of the more underrated albums of 2011. I bought it on iTunes, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The features that he had on the album (Will.I.Am, Rick Ross, Tech N9ne, Chris Brown, B.J The Chicago Kid) were wicked, the production was sound, and he kept true to his nature and let the beat of the streets flow with his raps. He’s so slept on, and it’s evident in the interviews you watch. He’s always left out, because all they mention are Kendrick, Ab-Soul & ScHoolboy Q. He’ll get his fair shine soon enough. A lot of people were eye opened when they heard his verse on the Black Lip Bastard – Black Hippy Remix, which he simply OBLITERATED! People will be paying attention. You know I’ve been showing my support

He even retweeted because he knows wa gwan

I want TDE to win, and they are winning. They’re like your boys that you just want to go hard and change the game one album at a time. They’re going to be great for hip hop for years to come. All of them. I have faith. Stop sleeping, and get familiar with the squad. They’re poetic styles are what’s being missed in the hip hop game of mediocrity, so why wouldn’t you want them to be successful? It’s only right.



Stop Sleeping. Because

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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