Despite being the first one to really break out from TDE and having numerous memorable guest verses, Jay Rock has had a hard time of it in really establishing himself as a solo artist. He always felt like a relic of the ’00s gangsta rap wave and unfortunately he broke in about 5 years too late. However, on Redemption he’s clearly pulled out all the stops and it’s resulted in his best, most complete project to date and a perfect pairing of his more traditional gangsta rap sensibilities and rap’s more modern sounds. It’s full of absolute bangers that you’ll be sure to hear blasting from radios and clubs alike but it’s still got plenty of those menacing street records we’ve come to expect from him – “ES Tales” is straight haunting in all the right ways. He may have come up before Kendrick, but it’s clear Kendrick has had a fair amount of musical influence on him in these past few years, as Redemption has a level of artistry and conceptual approaches that we haven’t really gotten from Jay Rock before. This is the definitive Jay Rock album we’ve been waiting for and it stands tall even among this summer full of giants.
How many fucks to give, lately, I’m running empty
Struggle with who I am and who I wanna be
Got the streets and these beats right in front of me
Should I kill this nigga or should I let him slide?
If I don’t, he double back, we got family ties?
If I do, I can’t rap, and that’s suicide
– “For What It’s Worth”
Have you heard Redemption? What’d you think about it? Was this the definitive Jay Rock album you’ve been waiting for? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.