Friday, May 22, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
For a rapper to command your attention, it all comes down to the voice. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Public Enemy’s Chuck D had millions of fans hanging on to every word of his booming baritone. In the mid-1990s, The Notorious B.I.G.’s steely poise and vocal precision led many critics and fans to proclaim him the best rapper of all time. Now, in 2009, get ready for the next rapper with a magnetic voice, someone whose pristine raps demand attention. His name: Jay Rock.
Born and raised in Watts, California’s notorious Nickerson Gardens Projects, Jay Rock got his first encouragement from his music-making relatives, who noticed the impact his deep, melodic voice made on song after song. “They were like, ‘you’re hard. And you’ve got a voice for it, too,” Jay Rock recalls. “A lot of people started hearing me and they would tell me that my voice catches them. So, I started working it, working on my craft and got more and more confidence.”
Jay Rock’s confidence led to a string of heated appearances on neighborhood mixtapes. The gifted rhymer’s clever phrasing, gritty realism, storytelling swagger and powerful voice grabbed the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment boss Dude Dawg. Once in the studio with an independent company backing him, Jay Rock’s output increased and improved.
After shopping his demo to a number of major labels, Jay Rock and Top Dawg earned a deal with industry powerhouse Warner Bros. Records, also home to E-40, Murs and Talib Kweli, among others. The Warner Bros. executives were impressed with Jay Rock’s distinctive flow, his vivid lyrics and, of course, his “voice”.
What drew me to his music was the realness of his words. He's very descriptive to where you can honestly relate to his music and feel what he's sayin and he's unapologetic. His voice is what commands attention. But his honest words and vibrant lyricism is what keeps you listenin.