The Boy Jay’s The Drive Mix Tape
A vet on the rap scene. Jay dropped his first tape in 2009 titled “Absolute Absurdity Vol 1”, followed by “The Leo manuscript” in 2013, then his third offering “Absolute Absurdity Vol 2” in June of 2015 and now The Boy Jay has dropped his 4th Mix tape “The Drive” which surfaced on the 29th of September 2017.
Jay recently partnered with Brain The Tool’s “Universal Master Builders”, marking the end of his independent grind and could see Jay release his long-awaited debut album which has been delayed by a variety of obstacles as timing is a major factor when putting out a quality album.
Track 1: ‘INTRO’ The Boy Jay acknowledges the sacrificial aspect of pursuing your dreams on the intro with an Alan Watts sample. A 70’s sax compliments the beat that switches into a skit then he introduces himself, welcomes you and tells you why he does music, as the beat fades he asks you to pass him his traveling essentials. You hear him locking up the house getting into the car which he backs up out the drive way then asks you to pass him the CD, you oblige and the drive begins.
Track 2 : ‘AUTOMATIC MC’ is the staple of any traditional hip hop project, he tells you who he is and it lets you know immediately that you are in the company of a true emcee who comes from an old school hip hop background. He drops his bars and remarks at how easy it is for him, you can tell he does not have to try too hard it is simply innate.
In one line he denigrates his competition “Its all toxic and there isn’t nothing on the radio that I can f*#Ks with” and I must say even from the jump on the intro you can tell that you are in the presence of a rare talent and one that has an old soul which makes the project so nostalgic and the longing of days gone by when it was about bars and less about melody. The beat was produced by Explicit.
On Track 4: ‘ITS LIKE THIS’ produced by J Dilla and features Just Robert . A classic throw back summer track. The Boy Jay says as much on the first verse, Just Robert drops his verse before Jay comes back on the third. It’s the kind of record you can picture at a house party in checkered shirts and shorts or just driving the streets in a drop top Chevy Impala, I know it doesn’t resemble our time but that’s the feeling you get. If you grew up on 90’s Hip Hop you will definitely enjoy this record, if you didn’t, you will appreciate the technical prowess.
Track 5: Twenty Eight (87′)- produced by Yondo Music, here Jay delivers a coming of age song. He reflects on his career choices and he harbors no regrets. He speaks on something very relatable, with his mother having hoped he would get a regular job with a suite & tie like all mothers do but chose his own path instead. With 30 fast approaching he realizes he has not fundamentally changed, he still does not take life too seriously and he reiterates how great he feels.
You get the sense he worries that perhaps he should get more serious about it, but in that regard don’t most of us? He also discourages people who take life way too serious in one line where he speaks about the rush people have towards growing up and cautions that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, a line that most of us can relate to. A recurring theme hints at the battle between working for a wage and pursuing a dream, however I get the feeling that The Boy Jay has made his choice but he simply tells you to think hard before you make yours.
At the end he warns the younger ones to get their sh*t together because life will throw curve balls and if you are not equipped, it may bring you to your knees. At this point the music fades into a skit where he pulls into a gas station to fill up the tank.
Track 6: ‘Greatest’ is produced by Omito Beats .What would a hip hop tape be without one for the ladies? Greatest is about the girls in his life, from back in college, the good ones and the baddies that he crushed on. On the chorus he says he has put them all behind him.
On his second verse he speaks about the girl in his life, meeting her for the first time and him deciding to forsake all the others. Through the good and the bad she is the one who he will endure with, this is something we all aspire to find, but only Jay knows if this is his reality or his aspiration like the rest of us. Only 2 verses on this one, would have loved to hear more of a story but perhaps less is more.
Track 1o: Dear Paps features poet Khoes and is produced by Logic. Khoes A.K.A Nesindano “Nunu” Namises a spoken word vet does a piece here with a personal tribute before the beat kicks on with Jay speaking to his Paps about what’s been happening since he left. He remembers vividly the day he got the news and for anyone who has lost a father this will touch a chord. Again you are left wanting more as Nesindano does the first verse in spoken word and The Boy Jay raps on the other.
Track 11: Vent features AliThatDude a vocal Emcee who has since thrown in the towel in pursuit of the Hip Hop dream in Namibia and moved to the more industry hospitable climes of Cape Town. A melancholic record where Jay vents and Ali croons, but far my least favorite track on the tape only because when one has one of the countries most sought after mc’s on a track, the bar should be lifted higher. The joint is produced by NicG.
All in all The Drive is a 14 track must have project for all Hip Hop heads locally and abroad (14 tracks because I think the intro has the entertainment value of a song). Well worth the price tag.
The Boy Jay represents the underground talent in the Hip Hop circle but deserves a much larger audience.
Perhaps his partnership with the ‘Universal Master Builder’ is the key, only time will tell. A talent that can cross cultural appeal is rare, moving away from the mediocrity of loud bass instrumentals, Jay doesn’t shy away from embracing a more international tune and this may be a gift and a curse because as appealing as his sound is, it might fail to garner loyalists because it does not represent any ethnic group but rather speaks to an international audience.
A solid 3 of 5 star rate.
Download The Drive Mix tape HERE
Follow Jay on Instagram