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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 13, 2020 | Roc Nation, LLC

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Elpadaro F. Thedford aka Jay Electronica aka the legend without an album! Without a real album, anyway. At 43, the legendary New Orleans producer who has crossed paths with the whole world of rap (Jay - Z, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Mos Def, J. Cole, Mac Miller, J Dilla, Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, Talib Kweli, Vince Staples, Common, DJ Premier...) has decided to release the first album stamped with his illustrious nickname. His moniker could have even featured next to Jay-Z's, as he is an uncredited contributor to eight of the ten tracks on A Written Testimony! A heavyweight accomplice for a heavyweight record; but one with great finesse. An ultra-talented rapper who has cooked up a hearty mille-feuilles of mystical sounds and themes. Even if the general mood is often laid back, everything is thought out. It’s all calculated to the millimetre: from its ideas (including those of the Nation of Islam's controversial Louis Farrakhan whose voice features on the first track); to its values (nods to the hip-hop tradition as on Shiny Suit Theory which uses the same sample as Pete Rock & C. L. Smooth put in their I Got a Love); the choice of guest appearances (Travis Scott on The Blinding and The-Dream on Shiny Suit Theory); and its creative potential (amazing trip-experimental ambient on Ezekiel's Wheel sampling Evensong by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno). Erykah Badu's ex clicked very well with Jay-Z (who sometimes takes the helm here) to create an opus that sounds almost more early 2000s than 2020... © Marc Zisman / Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 13, 2020 | Roc Nation, LLC

The term "long-awaited" gets thrown around freely when it comes to highly anticipated albums. In the case of rapper Jay Electronica, the concept of a long-awaited debut album was pushed to its outer limits, as he first emerged in the mid-2000s and watched his legacy grow substantially while only releasing a scant few tracks, guest appearances, and mixtape-level projects over a period that stretched for more than a decade. A Written Testimony comes bearing the weight of heightened expectations and delivers a modern classic, a new step forward in the evolution of hip-hop. Perhaps the first factor in the album's excellence are the uncredited contributions from rap icon Jay-Z on nine of the ten tracks. There's a star-studded list of other contributors -- Travis Scott sings an auto-tuned hook on "The Blinding," the-Dream shows up on two songs -- but the record is defined by the dynamic chemistry that bubbles up in the back-and-forth between Hova and Jay Electronica's winding flows. After growing up in New Orleans, Electronica moved around the States, absorbing the cultures and communal energies of Baltimore, Detroit, New York, and other spots and accepting the teachings of Elijah Muhammad along the way. A Written Testimony takes from the various phases of this journey, with the title of "Ghost of Soulja Slim" referencing the deceased New Orleans No Limit Records rapper, the spacious instrumentals recalling the minimal genius of Detroit producer J Dilla, and Nation of Islam ideology ornamenting every track. Big-name producers like Hit-Boy, No I.D., and AraabMuzik appear on some tracks, but by and large the beats are made by Electronica himself. The inventive drum-free jazz loop and crowd noises that make up the beat of "Shiny Suit Theory" make for a perfectly open backdrop for detailed performances, almost as if bass and drums would obscure the delivery. The atmospheric, meandering "Ezekiel's Wheel" is mostly vocals, cloudy samples, and a motorik clicking sound for close to seven minutes, but every moment feels intentional and controlled. The entire album flows with this same deliberate construction. Electronica allegedly scrapped all the studio work he'd been laboring on for years and made A Written Testimony in 40 days and 40 nights during a period of mystical inspiration. This can be heard in the balance between masterful architecture and spontaneous creation that the album hangs suspended in. There are moments throughout that recall Wu-Tang's rawness, the Notorious B.I.G.'s cool, collected confidence, the abstract thinking of early Clipse, or Dilla's spark of intuition and innovation. The rare achievement that makes the album work so well is that instead of attempting to re-create the heights of past master works, it pushes into new terrain. Jay-Z and Jay Electronica sound energized by each other, giving powerful performances at every turn. Bold production choices gel with this collaborative energy for an album that's inspired, driven, and sounds moved by the hand of unseen powers. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 22, 2009 | Mass Appeal Records II

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 23, 2009 | Mass Appeal

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 15, 2017 | Roc Nation - Roc Nation Artists

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Techno - Released October 25, 2019 | Global Music Records