Here we are again, talking about another dope ass project, by a dope ass rapper, from another dope ass city, that didn’t get the attention it deserved (at least not in my opinion). Jay Prince’s long awaited debut album, titled “BeFOR Our Time” released earlier this year is hands down one of the most soulful and funkiest albums you’ll hear from an artist this year.
Jay, who is from East London in the United Kingdom, has caught some heat for not sounding “London” enough, but what really is the “London sound”? Bitch you guessed it! There is no such thing as a “London sound”. London is huge (both geographically and culturally) and one of the best attributes of the city we call home is it’s diversity and variation of people, cultures, sound and music. So first things first, miss me with all that bullsh*t about him not sounding like Skepta, JME, President T, Kano or whichever grime kings you cats listen to nowadays (and yes I said “kings” because that’s exactly what all those guys are in their own right, now back to the album).
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‘Polaroids’ (which is a personal favourite of mine) is that track with the smooth and eloquent instrumental and lyrics that address issues we all think about on a daily basis such as “the grind”, anxiety about our future and reflection on the past and how all these things help us (and in this case Jay) become the people we are today. It leaves our mind in a state of nostalgia and deep thought, provoking us to put ourselves in the scenarios and positions Jay raps about.
Jay’s ability to provide his audience with substance and themes they can relate to whilst enabling us to bop our heads to the beat (serious!), when that loud has you and your boys (or girls) heads in clouds is undeniably his most profound skill. “A constant exuberance of good vibes” is one way I personally describe this project, tracks like “I’m Good” and “The Trip” will have you in deep thought when listening and afterwards you feel somewhat motivated and energised like when you get back from your girl’s yard on a Saturday morning. He even goes on to highlight some of his musical influences such as Erykah Badu and J.Cole (who he went to see at Koko a few years back when left to Cole, he was probably a “c-list” celebrity lol).
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In conclusion, Jay’s passion and love for music is captured in the intro of probably the most popular song on the album, “All You”, where he clearly states that he wants to make music that outlasts his lifespan on this planet and for years to come after that. As a London collective ourselves, nothing makes us happier and prouder that someone from our city not only is experiencing such great success, but also has shown the world that us London kids take our music, sonics and grind very seriously.
This album has sincerely been on repeat for me since it dropped in January and I do not see it being shoved to the side for any good reason (except for the respective weeks Yeezus & 6 god drop their individual projects, let’s be respectful now). But in all seriousness “ BeFOR Our Time” provides 2 things that many artists in the world are struggling with nowadays, originality and most importantly good vibes, which is the exact reason this guy will have a lengthy run in this game.
Favourite Tracks: Polaroids, All You, I’m Good, The Trip
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