Jay Rock, a Watts native, is releasing his debut, Follow Me Home
(Strange Music), today, July 26th. Jay is a member of the California super-freestyle group, Black Hippy, and one of the top up and comers of 2011. His album includes appearances by Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Tech N9ne, as well as fellow Black Hippy members Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, and freshman phenom Kendrick Lamar. After listening to it a few times I realized this Is a great album, and in my opinion the best debut of a Cali MC since Blue and Exile’s Below The Heavens.
Read the entire track by track review Follow Me Home
of after the jump!
1) Intro (1:03)
2) Code Red (2:45)- This album starts off with an absolute banger. Supported by an in your face, classic west coast, Dr. Dre-esque beat. With a chorus like “welcome to watts California where we aint scared to run up on ya.” This song is sure to be an instant Cali-classic. 9/10
3) Bout That (3:57)- This beat definitely goes hard. This song is where I started thinking he sounds like a mix between DMX and Xzibit. Overall good flow and a hot beat. 8/10
4) No Joke feat. Ab-Soul (4:20)- This track is one of 3 videos previously released. Over another dope beat with a chorus provided by Ab-Soul. O yea and Jay Rock ripped it. 9/10 http://youtu.be/Um5T1CLkx6Q
5) Hood Gone Love It feat. Kendrick Lamar (4:05)- This is my favorite song on the album mainly because fellow Black Hippy member, Kendrick Lamar, kills this song. A crisp, upbeat sound provided by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League along with the ill rhymes of Jay and Kendrick make this track one of the albums best. 10/10
6) Westside feat. Chris Brown (3:38)- Westside definitely has an R&B vibe going on mostly because of the Chris Brown hook. This will probably be the club banger off the album, it seems to be very radio friendly so don’t be surprised to hear it soon. Its catchy enough thanks to production by Tha Bizness and a nice change of pace from the hardcore, gangsta style. 7/10
7) Elbows (4:14)- Another bass heavy beat in the Dr. Dre style of production. Jay’s verses are hard. He’s got the deep, gritty voice with a lot of energy a good example of his likeness to DMX. 9/10
8) Boomerang (3:25)- The first thing that I noticed about this song is its fresh beat, one of the hotter beats of the album. Solid verses from Jay rock make Boomerang another quality jam.10/10
9) All I Know Is (3:41)- apparently all Jay Rock knows is “Guns, Drugs, Bitches, and Money,” Word. In all seriousness though the piano loop in the background mixes perfectly with the hard lyrics of Jay Rock. 8/10
10) I’m Thuggin (4:33)- Once again the beat is ill. This album has some great production. 7/10
11) Kill or Be Killed feat. Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko (4:10)- A fat beat with the smooth 70’s style soul chorus makes way for two great verses from Jay Rock. Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko go verse for verse with Tech spitting some of the hottest lines of the album thus far. 9/10
12) Just Like Me feat. J. Black (3:42)- First off this is a great video. This track is a somewhat uplifting and socially conscious song. Almost a tale of the streets and “the moral of the story certain hearts will never feel this plus they mind is really twisted it’s a sickness when we kill our own kind.” Great flow, great message, over a chill horn heavy beat. 9/10
13) Say Wassup feat. Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q (4:23)- The Best part of this song comes in the last 1:20 when all four of them go line for line, finishing each other’s sentences. Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q’s verses were less than impressive; luckily Jay and Kendrick Lamar held it down. 7/10
14) They Be On It (5:06)- This track is a bit slowed down but necessary to change the pace of the album. 7/10
15) M.O.N.E.Y feat. J Black (4:42)- Dope chorus provided by J. Black who is making his second appearance on this album followed by more hard verses from Jay Rock. 8/10
16) Finest Hour feat. Rick Ross and BJ the Chicago Kid (4:01)- It’s almost like Rick Ross hijacked this track, it sounds like something strait off one of his albums. With sick production once again by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Rick Ross and Jay Rock make this track another classic on a great album. 9/10
17) Life’s A Gamble (3:27)- A slow paced, mellow beat is the background for this street anthem. More ill verses from Jay Rock reverberate against the piano loop and smooth chorus. 9/10
18) All My Life feat. Lil Wayne and Will.I.Am (3:47)- This track is a great way to end a great album. The perfect Motown-esque beat brought to us by the legendary Cool & Dre with solid verses from everyone. This makes it official…YOU NEED TO BUY THIS ALBUM! 9/10
Overall I give this album an 8 out of 10. It’s produced very well with hard and gritty flows by one of the more gifted young MC’s out there. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a fan of west-coast Hip-Hop or just Hip-Hop in general. Listen, Enjoy, Keep it Real.
By: Noah Friedman