Face it: We’ll never, ever know when Act II is coming until it’s out. In the meantime, we usually have to appreciate and savor any time we get some sort of content from the mysterious Jay Electronica. We get a loosie like “Road to Perdition” here, an unreleased tune there. An appearance on The Breakfast Club, his occasional take on hip-hop’s current state. Just when the New Orleans native seems to drift into the realm of afterthoughts, he pops back up with a single dropped in the middle of a large music festival.
(“Better In Tune With The Infinite” @ SXSW.)
There will be a time when people get a little tired of this act — you know, having something “leak” onto the Internet to get people talking and then going back into hiding. We’re in a time when music is dropping at faster rates than ever, but it seems every time an Electronica song pops up, we’re going further and further back into his catalog rather than forward. That’s the case with this new leak onto the Internet, The Awakening, an album apparently recorded back in 2000.
According to a Reddit user, The Awakening is an album, which clearly features Jay Electronica’s voice, he recorded under the name Je’Ri. Another Reddit user found a site, HipHopGame, that allegedly review the album back in 2000 (but if we’re being real, any static website looking like it was made 15 years ago could be curated within minutes nowadays). The album cover on SoundCloud is also a blurred picture of Jay Elec.
As Meka pointed out to me, Jay Electronica and the whole vibe of the album does sound a bit like Nas throughout the 15 songs, which is funny given one of my favorite lines from 2009’s “Exhibit C”: “New York n*ggas was calling Southern rappers lame, but then jacking our slang.” Hey, everyone gets their influence from somewhere.
While the wait for Act II continues into its sixth year, we’ll have to keep our head up when content like The Awakening finds its way into our iTunes. Maybe this whole time waiting for a new album was his “second act” after all. And I’m probably wrong, but what better to do when waiting for a new album than to theorize?
Stream The Awakening below.
UPDATE: As you can see, someone won’t let us be great and has taken down the stream. Google is your friend though!