First of all the title of this post is not to disrespect the life and legacy of Len Bias. Len Bias death and tragic story is still felt by his loved ones, fans and the basketball world in general. Sports enthusiast still fantasize about the potential greatness Bias would have exhibited in the NBA after being drafted in 1986 by the Boston Celtics. Fans still debate in Barber Shops nationwide about how he would have matched up against Michael Jordan and other NBA Legends. It’s always painful to see unlimited talent cut short whether it’s by an early death, illness, life decisions, drugs, psychological issues or for whatever reason, they walk away from their craft at the astonishment of fans. So why is a Hip Hop Artist being compared to Len Bias, who obviously is not a musician? Well, Len Bias is probably the “Poster Child” for an athlete who more than likely, would have turned out to be one of the greatest in his sport. In Hip Hop, this title goes to Elpadaro F. Electronica Allah aka Jay Electronica.
I remember back in like 2007 or 2008 Jay Electronica released some music on Myspace and gained a lot of attention. The project was called Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge). He showed a uniqueness that is very rare in Hip Hop, especially in this generation. Now let me be clear, I’m not an old disgruntled Hip Hop fan but I do love 90’s Rap Music. Jay Electronica reminded me of 90’s MC’s immediately. One day I was searching for new music on the internet and I ran into the track Exhibit A. At this point I knew he wasn’t a one trick pony. This dude was official and I immediately anticipated more work in the future. You know, like an album but we will revisit this issue shortly. It was easy to get excited about Jay Electronica as a Hip Hop fan. After listening to several of his tracks and mixtapes online, Jay Electronica along with Just Blaze did something for me that hadn’t been done in years. The song Exhibit C was released and I was totally amazed. To put this in its proper context, the last time I had chills listening to an MC was when I heard Big Pun rap on the track BEWARE, off his 1998 debut Capital Punishment. I was sold!
The Hip Hop World started to praise Jay Electronica and calling him the next great MC. Hip Hop legends such as Puffy, Jay-Z, NAS, Q-Tip and other elites all pushed for Jay Electronica to release more music and his highly anticipated debut album. I mean, the excitement was intoxicating. I told everybody I knew to check his music and prepare for something special. This dude is very special as a lyricist. During this time he blazed tracks with J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Mobb Deep, Big Sean, Jay-Z, produced for NAS and tracks with Talib Kweli. With all this being said, where was the album? Where was the new music? Where was the enthusiasm to compete with his peers? Where was his focus and drive? These were thoughts that I started to have when things became stagnant in regard to his career. During this time, he teased me again with the amazing track The Ghost of Christopher Wallace with Puffy. My frustration went to an all time high as this dude could have been the next Biggie Smalls and his debut album was highly anticipated. Maybe he was afraid of not meeting huge expectations.
In each era of Hip Hop, several MC’s emerge and totally dominate their peers. In the early 80’s you had Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster CAZ, Melle Mel and Run of Run DMC stood over their peers. During the next era you saw Rakim, LL Cool J, KRS, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube and Chuck D reign supreme. Around the early to mid 90’s you witnessed Nas, Biggie, Snoop, Jay-Z, Tupac and Redman serving the competition. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s you saw DMX, Ja Rule, Eminem and later 50 Cent, Kanye, T.I. and other MC’s racing up the charts. When we reached 2007-2010, Jay Electronica used several years to tease fans with his greatness and believe me, he is as good as ANY MC I have ever heard and I’ve been around since Run DMC. He rhymes with no effort and destroys beats with ease. He writes lyrics like Len Bias dunking a basketball at The University of Maryland. Every so often you will see Jay-Electronica on Twitter and he may even release a song here or there but he appears to have no interest in dropping his album that Young GURU & Just Blaze say has been complete for years. We are 10 years into his career and still no official album. I guess it’s safe to say that his career ended after he was drafted to be the next GREAT MC….PEACE
A Prayer for Mike Vick and T.I.
The Ghost of Christopher Wallace
Exhibit A and C
My World (Nas Tribute)
We Made It feat. Jay-Z
Well….just Youtube dude and prepare to be frustrated…
The track Exhibit C is below.... Check it out..