Where else in the U.S. but post-Katrina New Orleans could the most evocative and compelling contemporary hip-hop be coming from? That's where Jay Electronica grew up -- the Magnolia Projects. Listen here while you can, because the enigmatic MC has already once deleted his MySpace profile, according to this solid profile at URB. The magazine dubs Jay Electronica "a sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac" who has lived the transient life in Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington DC. Here's what he says about his roots:
"People will say, 'How could he be from New Orleans and rap like he does?'" Jay says, echoing a common Internet observation of his abstract rhyme style, which is more traceable to Nas (who appears on Act II) or Pharoahe Monch then Wayne or Juve. "Fuck where I'm from. I'm from the moon. I love New Orleans, it made me who I am, but, at the end of the day, it's just a place. I rep man and human beings."
He also discusses his connections to Erykah Badu and how he realized early on that "songs were stories and poems and books." * Above, "Dimethyltryptamine." The track is not for the faint-hearted. At the Mixtape Show, check out and take home a Jay Electronica set with a long, loving introduction by Ms. Badu.