The countdown began with these series of tweets.
NO ONE BELIEVED. Hell, I chalked it up years ago, but to me, he was the greatest, or at least one of them, to do it whether he dropped an album or not. This, after I realized, I’m owed nothing from anybody on this planet. When casuals came flocking, my defense was, “he has at least 100 records out, he doesn’t need an album, Google is your friend.” And yes, my hourglass was dripping as I was patiently waiting to see if it was really going to happen.
Jay had a way with words, and it’s not like he was super wordy, but instead, he was blessed with a way of simply connecting them to a person’s spirit. I think this is why so many gravitated towards Jay. He spoke from a dark place we could all relate to, but he also gave you a hand, and the light, to help guide you out.
EXHIBIT C. Far from the greatest rap song, but damn if it wasn’t a moment. This record singlehandedly put Jay on one’s of the biggest pedestals any artist in the hiphop realm could have. The world stood still for Jay Electronica and 11 years later since the release, we finally reached the end of the tunnel that seemed to stretch further and further. And with utmost class, Jay praised Allah for the illustrious platform. “Signed every contract, and missed the deadlines. 40days, 40nights, tryna live up to the hype.”
Today, I understand the amount of pressure that Jay had. Similar to Earl before Doris. So though, he may have missed primetime, it was perfect for him to come out now. In 2017, he told Billboard in an interview that even if a billion people loved the album, and he didn’t, he would be the one that carried that weight.
“Like any good lawyer in a courtroom, he tells you what he’s going to prove, and then he goes ahead and proves it, and lets the jury make the decision.”
WORTH THE WAIT. There’s people complaining about the production, but anyone who’s a fan of Jay Electronica knows this is his style? Universal Soldier is amazing. There’s people complaining about this being a joint with Jay Z and not a true solo debut? Beggars can’t be choosers, and it’s hilarious how people try to set standards on music, like there’s a guideline. Move however you’d like. The amount time it took to finally get an album, and now it’s rushed due to it being made in ’40days’. Instead of appreciating, people complain, and that’s why we don’t deserve anything. Artists owe us nothing. Besides, they were both EATING. “In the wee hours of the night, trying to squeeze out bars… just so y’all could pick me apart?”
Sometimes, for a person of Jay Z’s stature, it takes a certain energy to light a fire, no matter how great you are, you can sink down to competition. Jay Z coming how he did just shows how he feels about Jay Elect. You can pull references from Shiny Suit Theory, We Made It, his collabs with Biggie and Nas, Jay always rose when the competition was fierce. Remember when that photo of Jay and Mach Hommy surfaced? Suspicions rose, and I will admit he does sound similar to Mach on Universal Soldier.
Over the last week, Peter Rosenberg tweeted, as a Jewish man, he was offended over the rhymes, “my feet might fail me, my heart might ail me, the synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me.” I find the timing of this odd considering the record that holds these rhymes, Better In Tune With The Infinite, has been out for years.
Joe Budden also shared his thoughts of an underwhelming album where Jay Z mopped Jay Electronica.
I honestly don’t know what people expected? This album sounds exactly how Jay Elect has been sounding his whole career. The production is what Jay has been picking his whole career, the little messages sprinkled throughout, Jay praising Allah and speaking like the prodigal son, repping his hood, his home of NOLA, his people, Jay Z playing a part is just a cherry on top. A damn good part at that (after 4:44 which I held much disdain for).
Jay Electronica’s music has always felt bigger than just music, and you either get that or you don’t so we’ll leave it at that. You don’t get it.
“I came to bang with the scholars, and I bet you a Rothschild I get a bang for my dollar,” Jay is a master at what he does, stream A Written Testimony now.