by Ansel Herz
on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 2:11 PM
I have had this on repeat since it dropped last Friday:
That same day, talk show host Arsenio Hall asked Kid Cudi how hiphop should change. "I think the braggadocio, money, cash, hoes thing needs to be deaded," Cudi said, shaking with emotion. "I feel like that's holding us back as a culture." Then he issued a plea for meaningful, creative artistry that can lift people up (and specifically, connect with youth struggling with depression).
That's obviously not a new critique of the genre, but that it came so authentically from a young artist, not some rap OG fogey, gave it added weight. This song feels like an answer to Cudi's plea. God, is it soulful. And it's the complete opposite of materialistic braggadocio—somber, organic, and empowering: "The sun rise and the moon tides and the sky's gon' reveal me/My brain pours water out my tear ducts to heal me."
This track—Jay Electronica's first new release of music since a largely overlooked guest verse (thanks to Kendrick Lamar) on Big Sean's "Control" in the summer—quickly broke the download limit on Soundcloud and racked up more than 300k plays. That means even more anticipation for Act II: Patents of Nobility, his long-delayed full-length record. Can't wait.