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Jay Electronica
Birth name Timothy Elpadaro Thedford[1][2]
Also known as Je'Ri Allah,Jay Elec, Jay Elect, Jota Flowers, The Almighty Elohim, Style War Jay
Born 1975
Origin Magnolia Projects, New Orleans, United States
Genres Hip hop
Years active 2004 - Present
Labels Control Freaq Records
Associated acts J Dilla, Nas, Just Blaze, Erykah Badu, Guilty Simpson, Mos Def, Curren$y, Reflection Eternal

Jay Electronica (Je’Ri Allah) is a rapper and producer known for his use of percussionist film soundtracks as a background for his abstract lyrical style, and his associations with Erykah Badu, Just Blaze and Nas. He produced the first track, "Queens Get the Money", on the 2008 Nas album Untitled. The unconventional nature of much of his music, and the lack of conventional release methods for that music, have since 2007 made him the object of much attention. He was perhaps best known for the piece of music Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), until the release of the Just Blaze-produced track "Exhibit C" in late 2009.


Music and reception

Jay Electronica has yet to release a full-length album but has released two official singles to date, "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit C". His music so far has been made available through the internet, either through being leaked to what URB magazine describes as "obscure web forums", or through an appearing and disappearing myspace page (currently two seem to be in existence, at /jayelect and at /jayelectronica). Badu has questioned whether he ever will release, in her words, "actual albums".[3]

Originally from New Orleans, LA he has lived in Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Denver, and Detroit, where he recorded his Style Wars-era music with several J Dilla beats, meeting the producer subsequently to ask for permission to use the recordings as a demo. Detroit is where Electronica met producer/engineer Mike "Chav" Chavarria, who introduced him to both J Dilla and Mr. Porter, and who is now a regular collaborator.[3][4]

Jay Electronica first gained significant attention through Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), made available on a myspace page in 2007.[3] It is 15 continuous minutes of music, without drums, built from Jon Brion's soundtrack to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There are five segments or movements, marked by changes in music and mood, raps by Electronica, and occasional snippets of sampled dialogue (children arguing in Kurdish, Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka). The first segment is spoken word by Just Blaze and Erykah Badu describing the artist over piano music.

The nature of the piece of music, along with the nature of its appearance, led to a slow build-up of interest in Electronica as an enigmatic figure. Style Wars gained wider circulation, and other tracks, such as the dream-inspired "Dimethyltryptamine", appeared. In January 2008, Giles Peterson's 90-minute Gilles Peterson Worldwide was devoted to the rapper.[5] in 2008 called him "arguably...the most talked about new emcee last year ... at times...more like a myth or urban legend than an actual rapper",[6] and URB ran a cover story on the artist under the banner "Jay Electronica: A Spotless Mind :: An MC’s mystery revealed", which referred to his wanderings as his being "like some sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac".[3]

Jeff Weiss' piece for the L.A. Weekly, "Jay Electronica: Much Better Than His Name Would Suggest", acknowledged that the rapper could be fairly described as "one of the most buzzed about rappers of 2008", but attempted to temper the hype somewhat, describing Act 1... as "ambitious, wildly original, if not slightly pretentious", while endorsing only to an extent the comparisons URB had made (referencing an "abstract rhyming style") to rappers like Nas and Pharoahe Monch.[7]

Electronica met Nas during the recording of Nas' Untitled, through Badu's friendship with Nas' wife, Kelis. He gave Nas a CD of his recordings, causing Nas to invite him to produce for the album. Jay Electronica provides the music for the album's opening track, "Queens Get the Money". Nas describes him as having provided "the Jay Electronica sound".[8] He toured North America with Nas, and was part of the Rock The Bells International Festival Series in 2008.[9][10]

According to URB, Act II: Patents of Nobility will feature Nas, and will be the second of a putative trilogy. URB also reported that digital EPs with both Guilty Simpson and producer 9th Wonder were planned. His most recent music as of November 2008 is the Just Blaze-produced track "Exhibit A (Transformations)".[11]

According to a Filter TV interview [12], Jay Electronica has partnered with Decon to release his debut project. It is being described as a multi-media release and footage from the project which was partially shot in Nepal and Dubai has begun to surface online. The first clip to leak is titled "Dear Moleskine" and can be found on Youtube, the track was produced by Just Blaze and the clip was directed by Jason Goldwatch from Decon. In June of 2009, Decon and Jay's "The Dogon Society" released "Exhibit A" digitally. "Exhibit C" was released on iTunes December 16, 2009 and quickly shot to the top 10 of the itunes Hip-Hop charts. The following week it was chosen by Hot 97's Dj Enuff as the Heavy Hitter pick of the week.

On January 11, 2010, DJ Dub and Furious Styles released a mixtape entitled Victory which featured 27 tracks of Jay Electronica. While it is not known whether this particular work was sanctioned by the artist.[13] On February 9, 2010, it was announced Jay Electronica will appear at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Further proof of the continuing buzz about this artist saw On Jay Electronica sell out out 2 nights at the Jazz Cafe[1], London (UK) on Feb 17, 2010 ([2]).

Personal life

He and Erykah Badu welcomed their first child together, a girl named Mars Merkaba, on February 1, 2009.[14][15]


  • Style Wars EP (2004) (Unofficial online compilation)
    • 01. "Renaissance Man (Featuring Tone Treasure)" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • 02. "So What You Sayin'" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • 03. "Something To Hold On To" (Produced by Nottz)
    • 04. "I Feel Good"
    • 05. "Be Easy"
  • Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) (2007) (Produced by Jay Electronica and Michael Chavarria)
    • 01. "Intro"
    • 02. "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind"
    • 03. "...Because He Broke The Rules"
    • 04. "Voodoo Man"
    • 05. "FYI"
  • Attack of the Clones (Unofficial online compilation)
    • 01. "Abracadabra"
    • 02. "Retro Electro"
    • 03. "Colors"
    • 04. "Dealing"
    • 05. "Girlfriend"
    • 06. "The Cauldron"
    • 07. "Posers"
    • 08. "Spark Em Up"
    • 09. "Trolley Stop"
    • 10. "Walk With It (featuring Lil Flip)"
    • 11. "Attack of the Clones"
  • Scratches & Demo Tape Volume I (2008)
    • 01. "Annakin's Prayer" (Produced by Jay Electronica)
    • 02. "Hagler" (Produced by Mr. Porter)
    • 03. "Not Too Far From Nothing" (Produced by Beat Autopsy)
    • 04. "Who's Gonna Save My Soul [Jota Flowers Remix] (Featuring Gnarls Barkley)" (Produced by Danger Mouse)
    • 05. "Swagger Jackson's Revenge" (Produced by 14 K.T.)
  • Act II: Patents of Nobility (2010)
  • Miscellaneous
    • "2 Step" (Produced by Sol Messiah)
    • "Abracadabra (Produced by J Dilla)
    • "A Prayer For Michael Vick And T.I. (We Love You Family)
    • "Attack Of The Clones"
    • "Bitches And Drugs" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • "Colors"
    • "Dealing"
    • "Defcon 4"
    • "Departure"
    • "Dimethyltriptamine" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • "Extra, Extra" (Produced by Madlib)
    • "Get 'Em (Featuring Guilty Simpson and Mr. Porter)" (Produced by Mr. Porter)
    • "Girlfriend" (Produced by Hi-Tek)
    • "Glass Everywhere: Act I Encore" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • "Google Eyes"
    • "Hard To Get (Featuring Mr. Porter)" (Produced by Mr. Porter)
    • "Holiday (Featuring Mos Def)" (Produced by Just Blaze)
    • "My World (Nas Salute)"
    • "Not A Disturbance"
    • "Retro Electro (Scenario 2004)" (Featuring DJ Clue)
    • "Spark 'Em Up"
    • "Lock, Stock And One Smoking Barrel" (Produced by J Dilla)
    • "Trolley Stop"
    • "Uzi Weighs A Ton" (Produced by Jay Electronica)
    • "Victory In My Clutches (Featuring Tone Treasure)" (Produced by Madlib)
    • "Walk With It (Featuring Lil' Flip)"
    • "When The Levees Broke"
  • Presents The Jay Electronica Project (2010)
    • "01 Intro"
    • "02 Renaissance Man feat Tone"
    • "03 So What You Sayin"
    • "04 Hagler"
    • "05 Victory Is In My Clutches"
    • "06 Exhibit A (Transformations)"
    • "07 Exhibit B ft Mos Def"
    • "08 Exhibit C"
    • "09 Exhibit H ft Joell Ortiz(Haiti stand up)"
    • "10 Colours"
    • "11 Swagger Jacksons Revenge"
    • "12 Uzi Weighs A Ton"
    • "13 Girlfriend"
    • "14 Hard To Get Ft Mr Porter"
    • "15 I Feel Good"
    • "16 Be Easy"
    • "17 My World (Nas Salute)"
    • "18 Extra Extra"
    • "19 Dealing"
    • "20 Spark Em Up"
    • "21 A Prayer For Michael Vick & TI"
    • "22 Dimethyltriptamine"
    • "23 Not Too Far From Nothing"
    • "24 Defcon 4"
    • "25 Departure"
    • "26 Bitches And Drugs"
    • "27 Glass Everywhere"
    • "28 Eternal Sunshine"
    • "29 Just Begun feat Reflection Eternal J Cole & Mos Def"
    • "30 Jay Electronica Speaks on Nas"
    • "31 Queens Get The Money"
    • "32 Queens Get The Remix By DjayTiger"
    • "33 Whos Gonna Save My Soul ft Cee Lo"
  • Guest Appearances
    • "Shut Shit Down (Featuring Orianday and Jay Electronica)" - Big Dame
    • "Cool, Relax (Featuring Jay Electronica) (Produced by Double O) - Naledge
    • "Posers (Featuring Jay Electronica)" (Produced by DJ Khalil) - The New Royales
    • "Walking [J. Period Remix] (Featuring Jay Electronica)" - Nneka
    • "Just Begun (Featuring Jay Electronica, J. Cole, and Mos Def)" - Reflection Eternal
    • "Love Czars II (Featuring Jay Electronica and Ta'Raach)" - The Sa-Ra Creative Partners
    • "The Cauldron (Featuring Jay Electronica and Ghost1)" - Zed Bias
    • "Prowler 2" (Featuring Jay Electronica, Joell Ortiz, Jean Grae & Mos Def)" - Ski Beatz
  • Production
    • "Queens Get The Money" - Nas (Off the Untitled album)


Year Song Chart positions Album
U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
2009 "Exhibit A" Exhibit A - Single
"Exhibit C" 86 Exhibit C - EP

External links

Just Blaze, Jay Electronica, & Mike "Chav" Chavarria - An Interview with Jay, Chav, & Just Blaze

  • [3]- presents The Jay Electronica Project, promotion of this project provided by the administrators of, and Dj Tiger, who created & mixed the cd.


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