This is the surprise sophomore album from New Orleans emcee/producer Jay Electronica. Fans had waited 13 years for him to drop a full-length album ever since his debut EP Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) & we finally got that in the form of A Written Testimony back in March of this year, which was a collab effort with JAY-Z. But after leaking online recently, Jay has decided to officially drop the OG version of the album.
The opener “Real Magic” talks about accepting oneself over a bare piano instrumental while the next song “New Illuminati” talks about being just that over a churchy beat. After the “Patents of Nobility” interlude, the track “Life on Mars” pays tribute to Erykah Badu over some synths. The song “Bonnie & Clyde” shit-talks on those faking over a sample of the Serge Gainsbourg joint of the same name while the track “Dinner at Tiffany’s” is essentially “Shiny Suit Theory” off A Written Testimony.
The song “Memories & Merlot” reminisces on all the moments in his life that he cherishes over a settle, psychedelic beat while the track “Better in Tune” gets confessional over an angelic instrumental. The song “Letter of Falon” talks about climbing the highest mountain himself over some hi-hats & claps while the track “Road to Perdition” with JAY-Z sees the 2 making a number of references to the Tom Hanks film of the same name over a triumphant beat.
The song “Welcome to Knightsbridge” flexes his rapping prowess over a hypnotic instrumental while the track “Rough Love” gets raunchy over a beat with some stunning choir vocals. The song “Night of the Roundtable” talks about feeling his hunger growing over some claps & keyboard embellishments while the penultimate track “Run & Hide” is a stunning R&B duet with The Bullitts that tells the story of a woman who escapes from her problems. The closer “10,000 Lotus Petals” is just a wonderful orchestral piece with no Jay presence at all.
To be honest, I think this is his true debut album & I’ll even go as far to say that it’s better than A Written Testimony. Sure it can sound dated at times, but the production on here is a lot better in comparison & Jay Electronica lyrically was at his best during this point in time.