Jay Electronica ft. Mobb Deep – Call Of Duty: MW3
Jay Electronica isn’t known for unleashing torrents of material on the public, but when you’ve set the bar as high as Exhibit C heads will take notice when you release new material. So has this new track rightfully escaped the clutches of his severe quality control or did it quietly slip through the seams? The TRU BT answers the call of their reviewing duty.
What’s with the whispery flow? Did they record this in a library? Low energy aside, this is all types of average. But Jay Electronica is still better than most rappers on his worst day, so of course he had some dope lines on this. I like that he dubbed it “Call of Duty: MW3.” I like that P is saying, “Put your diamonds in the sky” after years of going back and forth with Jigga. I like that Jay shouts out his Roc Nation comrade J. Cole. My favorite part is where he recaps his journey: “I went from MySpace to the top of the food chain. The sperm hit the egg like a missile, then 9 months later the celebratory news came.” I remember that whole MySpace thing like it was yesterday. Dude had MySpace going nuts back when MySpace was a thing. It’s also a reminder that Jay has been at this longer than most people realize. Shit, I remember writing about him on this very site back in 2005 when Erykah Badu’s label still had a website. Anyhow, this is a cool buzz track, but I won’t be walking around the crib annoying everyone with the lyrics like I did when “Exhibit C” dropped.
Nahshon Landrum (Nayschola)
This is one of the rare occasions that I find myself roundly underwhelmed by a Jay Electronica song. The lackluster beat was probably picked up off of the cutting floor after the first round of eliminations from the fabled album. The lyrics bored me throughout and (with the exception of the missle-sperm birth analogy for his toddler of a career) I think it is safe to say we got throwaway rhymes as well. The Prodigy feature was much more exciting to read than listen to although it was a technically precise verse.
It probably has more to do with how high these two emcees have set the bar for themselves but when it was all said and done, I rolled over wondering “is that it”. (Pause). All of the pieces were there, but somehow the puzzle just didn’t come together this time.
I really do hate to be so hum-drum on this one but the song didn’t speak volumes to me. The beat is cool, and by that I mean Jay Electronica found that gritty-sample-meets-hush-hush-underground sound that I feel would be a track a producer would keep close or amongst friends. But his verse was sub-Exhibit C and Prodigy? Meh. Definitely makes me want to hear more but only in that “I’ve already had a few appetizers and now my stomach’s growling” kind of way.
As mentioned earlier, the beat never really takes off like you expect it too, and that’s a pity. Jay is lyrically on point but the pauses throughtout his verses make the flow an awkward fit to the track, which doesn’t really gel together until Prodigy throws in some infamous verbs for the hook. The risk of having a veteran featuring on your track is that of getting outshined, which is exactly what happens when P finishes the track off with his verse and sounds much more comfortable flowing to these drum rolls of modern warfare. It’s not necessarily a shame having the limelight stolen by another rapper if all parties involved at least sound like they’re bringing out the heavy artillery. Unfortunately, this is more like a grazer than a direct hit.
Enigmatik (Boo goo Doo Boom)
This song is a pile of meh. I give Jay Electronica credit for his ability to create excitement when he does release music, but at this point he’s the boy who cried wolf. It’s time to drop an album or a mixtape by now, no more one song per year drops. The verses are cool although I feel like he’s trying to recreate that “Exhibit C”/”Ghost of Christopher Wallace” vibe. Prodigy was aiight too. But the beat is butt cheeks. The hype overshadowed the quality on this one. Less tweeting, more emceeing.
Khal (Rock The Dub)
I was never the Jay Electronica mark. I always try to give niggas a chance, but when the first words I heard about someone are the HYPE that cats from Jay-Z to Erykah Badu co-sign this cat, I fall back. I could give a fuck if the bum in the alley co-signs you, if your hype precedes your MUSIC, I frown. Just how I’ve been. I’d heard “Exhibit A”, and was open, and of course the dynamo that is “Exhibit C” hit me like a rocket, partly because of Just’s beat, part because of the monologue Jay delivered. I’m still not the biggest Jay stan, and don’t get Internets souped when I hear he has a new jawn on the way, but I fucks with this “Call of Duty” track. I hear Young Guru produced this military-drum flavored quirk. The use of human voices contorted into another instrument always killed me, back when I would geek off the Human Beat Box. Feels like sirens and exploding mortars in this war of fake verse real. Not sure why “Mobb Deep” is listed on this, though, as it’s really just Prodigy forming a number of Mobb Phonics
into a hook, then dropping the last line, but you know. And being the vigilant citizen that I am, I’m not feeling him aligning with the nigga that got signed by Hov, whom Prodigy has long said “sides with the evil Illuminati” – money talks, doe. In any case, Electronica still comes with the heat, although I never understood Jay’s need for acceptance. He’s more of the leader type, and should be having the flocks following him, not waiting for Flex to drop bombs on this shit. This isn’t radio music – it’s the soundtrack to a revolution.