Jay Electronica – “A Written Testimony” review

It’s actually here; the full-length debut from New Orleans emcee/producer Jay Electronica. Ever since his breakout mixtape Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) in 2007, this has become one of the most anticipated hip hop albums within the past decade. But after 13 years, the day has finally arrived & he has enlisted JAY-Z to provide verses throughout much of it.

After the “Overwhelming Event” intro, we get into the first song “Ghost of Soulja Slim”. Where both Jays make references to death as well as racism & Islam over a grand instrumental from Electronica himself. “The Blinding” talks about Electronica’s return over an instrumental from araabMUZIK alongside Hit-Boy & Swizz Beatz that starts off with a grim atmosphere, but then transitions into something more calming. “The Neverending Story” talks about the noblest of gentlemen over an alluring instrumental from The Alchemist while the song “Shiny Suit Theory” is pretty much an adviseful conversation on wax backed by a jazzy beat.

The track “Universal Soldier” talks about wanting to be saved from themselves over a heavenly boom bap beat while the song “Flux Capacitor” finds both rappers being off beat to the point where it’s distracting. The track “Fruits of the Spirit” is solely Electronica comparing himself to Thanos over a soulful instrumental from No I.D. while the song “Ezekiel’s Wheel” addresses those who ever doubted this day ever come & it’s so long that the Brian Eno sample starts to become annoying before it’s even over. The album finishes off with “A.P.I.D.T.A.”, which pays tribute to those in Jay’s life that’re no longer here over a guitar instrumental that fits the tone fantastically.

Does this deliver after such a long wait? To me, yes. The mixing could’ve been better at some parts but Electronica’s smart lyricism remains intact, Hov compliments him like Ghostface Killah did with Raekwon on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… & the abstract production is really creative.

Score: 4/5

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