After 15 years, the rapper's debut is finally here.
It took 40 days and 40 nights for Moses to receive the Ten Commandments and lead the people of Israel to salvation using God's word.
During those 40 days, "fear seized the Jews," according to the Torah, and they worried their prophet might not return. Back in February, enigmatic rapper Jay Electronica posted to his Twitter that his highly anticipated debut album, after 15 years of delays, would finally be coming "in 40 days." Fans called bullsh*t, but 35 days later, they awoke to A Written Testimony.
Jay Electronica's religious similarities between him and Moses are presented quite literally. "If it came from me and Hov, consider it the Quran," he boldly raps on "Ghost of Soulja Slim." Electronica doesn't want you to think of him as a rapper, but as an Oracle, who only communicates with his people when God communicates with him. The 43-year-old rapper, who has remained signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation despite never releasing a project, understood that if his album were to finally arrive, it would have to be a prophetic occurrence. 15 years is too long a wait to make an entrance, unless you carry yourself through the front door like Moses himself.
In actuality, only an artist like Jay Electronica could accomplish a feat of this magnitude, and he mostly does. H The instrumentals are beautiful, sprawling pieces of art, and from Jay-Z to Swizz Beats and The-Dream, Electronica made it clear that only his legendary disciples can eat at his table.
Electronica often speaks with the frank sincerity of a seasoned preacher. His devotion is not to Hip-Hop but to his faith. Rap is merely a vessel for his teachings, just as he is merely a vessel for the word of God. "If you want to be a master in life, you must submit to a master," he preaches on "The Neverending Story." "I was born to lock horns with the Devil at the brink of the hereafter."
Throughout A Written Testimony's sprawling 10 tracks, Electronica speaks vulnerably on his 15 year setback. His delayed introduction was not due to creative shortcomings, but rather his ego and the crippling magnanimous feeling he had as an artist towards other rappers ("Shiny Suit Theory"). Electronica views his art as a gateway into his soul and into the inner workings of his faith, and that level of perfectionism is a heavy burden to carry. He doesn't want to be just another rapper. "The price of sanity is too damn high," he says on "Ezekiel's Wheel."
It may be another 15 years until we hear from Jay Electronica again, but A Written Testimony clarifies in profound ways that he only speaks when he has something to say, and in the age of loud-mouth politicians and fake news, that is a significant power to have.
Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony (ALBUM) - YouTube www.youtube.com
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