It was Thursday, June 14th.
I was anticipating the upcoming weekend and I knew that Friday would be a good one. The following morning, I rose with the uncontainable excitement of an adolescent on December 25th. After three consecutive weeks of phenomenal music from the G.O.O.D. Music camp, I was actually most hoping to listen to the anticipated Nas album.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t released until later.
There stood Jay Rock, looking wistfully to the sky with a heavenly glow beaming down from above. It would be a good Friday after all.
Three years ago, Jay Rock released 90059, his second studio album named after his hometown zip code. Highly underrated, the album made my top 10 list from 2015. So when I saw that Jay Rock had released a new album I knew I would be in for a treat.
Jay Rock, the humble pit bull of TDE, is known for bringing raw energy and fierceness to tracks. Watts, California is not particularly known for producing timid and scared men and Jay Rock is neither a timid nor scared man. The TDE rap label is a well oiled machine which consists of Schoolboy Q, Ab-soul, the aforementioned Jay Rock, and Kendrick Lamar. If TDE was a party, Schoolboy supplies the drugs, Ab-Soul speaks on enlightenment and spirituality in the smoke session, Kendrick is the friendly funny guy, and Jay Rock is the quiet dude who keeps to himself waiting for the drama to pop off just so he can take out his frustrations on some poor asshole’s face.
Redemption not only highlights Jay Rock’s grittiness, it also reveals his transcendence as a musical artist. Largely considered as reserved and humble, Jay Rock shows more personality on this album. On “Tap Out“, he is assisted by Jeremih and experiments with his vocals just a bit to deliver a more seductive track for the ladies. Later, Jay Rock deviates from his natural aggressive energy and transmutes it into a more positive and uplifting energy to deliver the anthem, “WIN”. By the way, I personally feel that his video should already be in consideration for video of the year.
All in all, the album is a cohesive collection of catchy hooks and prison strong bars. Redemption reveals Jay Rock’s maturity in personality as well as his diversity and growth as a musical artist. There’s not a single weak link in the TDE chain, and with the release of Redemption, the label can chalk another one up for yet another classic(?).
Junky Locker’s Favorite 3 Tracks:
- Knock it Off
- Rotation 112th