Over Jay Electronica
Jay Electronica is one of the industry's hottest rappers. Born in New Orleans, Jay migrated through several eastern seaboard cities, including Atlanta, before settling in New York; much of that time was spent sleeping in shelters and on city streets. Salvation came in the form of a handful of Internet-only EPs released during 2006 and 2007, including Act One: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) (inspired by the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Style Wars (which used beats from the late producer J Dilla). Those releases caught the attention of industry tastemakers and led to an avalanche of publicity, cover stories and even a romantic pairing with soul siren Erykah Badu. (The two had a child in 2009.) Save for the occasional Internet freestyle, tour or choice guest spot (including a verse on the Roots' Rising Down), Jay Electronica has kept silent, only enhancing his mystique. When he has spoken, however, it has been worth the wait. His official debut single for Decon Records, 2008's "Exhibit A," was widely discussed across the blogosphere. On his second single, "Exhibit C," he delved into his early bouts of homelessness with clarity reminiscent of Rakim.