3rd Full Length Studio Album from TDE’s Flagship Artist
Jay Rock first caught my attention when he was featured on Isaiah Rashad’s 2013 single, “Shot You Down”. Rock’s verse was planted right in-between Isaiah’s and Schoolboy’s functioning as the perfect anchor between the two contrasting styles. Not a true “day one” fan of Rock admittedly, I still can’t help but notice his progression and apparent maturity over the years that I have been a fan. Jay Rock’s last album, 2015’s ‘90059’, was a very family oriented project featuring the entire TDE roster in addition to the production being entirely in house. ‘90059’ also gave us the last Black Hippy feature to date with “Vice City”. Still waiting for their next remix(crosses fingers).
That following February after the release of ‘90059’, Rock was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident. The crash is a significant focal point of ‘Redemption’, which is in my opinion, Jay Rock’s most focused and refined body of work yet. With the long awaited and much anticipated return of Nas slated to drop that same weekend I believe it is safe to say the TDE camp was more than confident in their craftsmanship. ‘NASIR’ was the fourth in line of releases executively produced entirely by Kanye West, and that album was somewhat shadowed by the abrupt and unannounced release of The Carters, ‘EVERYTHING IS LOVE’.
Despite being up against such heavy hitting and established artists, ‘Redemption’ does an excellent job standing its ground and standing out. Very much like ‘90059’, the production on ‘Redemption’ is incontestably sound and cohesive. The orientation of sound is different and very progressive and contemporary all the while very complimenting to Jay, fitting his flows like a fresh pair of, well, J’s.
There are many highlights on this album for me; off the rip “The Bloodiest” is one of the strongest and grittiest opening tracks of 2018, point blank period. Other standouts include, “ES Tales”, “Rotation 112th” and my personal favorite is the title track featuring a soulful and moving performance from SZA, “Redemption”. This entire album comes together so well around Jay Rock and what surely will become a pivotal moment in his career and journey. I still find myself going back to listen to this album even with all the new and impressive music being dropped all around it. Jay Rock has a solid contender for one of the best Rap albums of the year as well as an instant classic.