I dont see myself as a hip-hop expert, but I think its fair to say that the genre is pretty jaded. Mainstream rap like Chingy or Soulja Boy or whatever is on the radio now has been pegged as good hip-hop by the media, which means underground rappers basically have their work cut out for them just to defend their own genre. Enter the life of rapper Jay Eff Kay. Jay Eff Kay grew up in the Boston area and is an ex-lawyer. Yes, this rapper used to be a lawyer. Intriguing, right? He started rapping while he was in law school, and after being in a top law firm in NYC, he decided that the system was whack and he would rather rap about all the bad stuff in our country.
America: Suicide Notes Vol. 1 begins with Prologos/Apocalipsis, a medieval sounding spoken intro about various bad things happening in America today. This is quickly followed by a rapping continuation of the first track, Welcome to America. Jay Eff Kay continues to list the strange and evil things going on in the U.S.A. today. As much as I hate to do this to a white rapper, his voice reminds me of Eminem. The beat is kind of lame sounding, and I cant help but hear a young wanting-to-be-hip history teacher trying to get his students interested in current issues. But I try not to let the first tracks influence my opinions of the rest of this album.
It turns out that this album is a lot more than I originally thought. Jay Eff Kay has some fast rapping abilities, and the topics touch on almost all the large-scale problems we are faced with in our country. The beats get better and more evil sounding as the album progresses. You can tell that this guy knows what he is talking about as far as political issues go, because hes graduated the higher education system. Although some people might knock him for being a spoiled rich kid who is kicking a gift horse in the mouth by quitting a law firm to become an underground rapper; it takes some real balls to throw away a life like that, just for the love of music and to get a real message out.
Jay Eff Kay may really be on to something here. Im all for a rapper rapping about something more than girls, cars, and parties, although other topics can sometimes come off as preachy. But he doesnt just rap about America; he talks about the deteriorating rap scene with increasing mainstream attention in Im All Over It and slutty girls in Skankapotamus. I think he understands what people want to hear and combines that with his own ideas to form a pretty talented album. Hes definitely something to watch out for in the future.
P.S. You can download this entire album for free on his website.
7.0 / 10
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