2. Because Jay Elec Has Lit A Lyrical Fire Under Shawn Carter
“In the land before time, a land before altar boys synagogues and shrines, man was in his prime/Look how far I go in time just to start a rhyme,” mused Jay Electronica over the sparse, Pete Rock sampled “Shiny Suit Theory.” The November 15 leaked song, which featured Roc Nation boss Jay-Z and R&B singer-songwriter The Dream, managed to capture the imagination of even the most jaded of music critics, a worthy opening shot from Roc Nation’s newest recruit. But while many observers lauded the lyrical brilliance of Electronica, it was a seemingly rejuvenated Jay Hova that garnered much of the glowing reaction.
“In this manila envelope, the results of my insanity, Quack said I crossed the line between real life and fantasy/Can’t it be the same?/ Went on covers with Warren Buffett, was ducking the undercovers, was warring with motherfuckers,” an inspired Jay-Z deftly dissected the complexities of his peerless fame. For the larger-than-life MC, who often times was overshadowed lyrically this year by little brother Kanye West on the leaked Good Friday tracks “Power Remix,” “So Appalled,” “The Joy,” and “Monster,” it was a welcomed return-to-form.
“I loved it,” says Dombal of Jigga’s strong showing. “I’m always psyched when Jay-Z comes out with an amazing verse. You get the same feeling of hearing him rhyme on Hot 97 in the ‘90s on Funk Flex’s show. I’m sure [Electronica] inspired him to do that verse, which to me is awesome.”
Concepcion believes there’s an underlining reason why “Shiny Suit Theory” has resonated so strongly with longtime Jay-Z fans. “That’s what hip-hop is about…friendly competition,” she explains. “If Jay Electronica is making a great artist like Jay-Z step his game up, I’m all for it.”