“Spit it for the culture, pay no attention to the critics and the vultures…”
“Don’t believe in dreams, since when did black men become kings?”
Over the weekend, we got the surprise news of Jay Electronica signing to Roc Nation, and a snippet of their first song, “Shiny Suit Theory.” Instead of a long wait, Electronica treated fans to the entire song earlier today via his Twitter account.
As previously indicated, the Ambassador’s sample will be familiar to mid 90’s Hip-Hop fans due to Pete Rock’s usage of it on “I Got a Love.” Here, the beat leaves out the vocal sample and loops the jazzy horns and xylophone like chimes. The expect bass line and drums you hear on most Hip-Hop tracks never shows up. The ending sample notes are doubled, and that along with the ending bar applause effects give the song the appeal of a high-art play. It’s much less refined than Pete’s version, and gives off an unfinished tint.
Jay Electronica holds the opening spot. He’s doesn’t get out of character just because Jay-Z’s here. The conversational flow is in intact, with allusions to scientific and spirituality concepts. He shouts out Diddy for inspiring him to look beyond the underground, and aim for national dominance with his style (“He said nigga fuck the underground/ You need to win a Grammy”). Considering the rumored “betrayal” Diddy felt with Electronica’s signing, those bars are placed to show listeners the high esteem he still holds Diddy in. In addition, his promise to “pollinate ear buds” also lets long-time fans know not to expect his style to change, but to see their man with more resources to get his message out.
Jay-Z picks one of Electronica’s quotes about black kings as an over-arching theme for his verse. Initially, Jay rhymes about how his talent has taken him from street hustling to Warren Buffet conversations. You get some of that classic, grandiose Jay-Z boasting (“I’m the immaculate conception to rappers/hustlers…”). Then you get thrown a curveball. The narrative has a younger Jay-Z envisioning these future events to a shrink, who dismisses his destiny as psychotic rants. In fact, he prescribes Prozac and chastises him for believing he could escape his ghetto conditions (“You must be off your rocker/If you think you’ll make it off the strip/ Before they pop ‘ya…”). He ends with a poignant phrase from the shrink, asking “since when did black men become kings?” Your left with Jay-Z accomplishments and current stature as a living rebuttal to that viewpoint.
The Dream’s crooning is kept very short, and appropriately so. You’re just given a few ending notes to help add some spice before the music fades.
“Shiny Suit Theory” should soothe any fears long-time Jay Electronica fans had about the signing, and serve as a decent introduction to those wondering what the hoopla is about. When these two get a completely fleshed out beat underneath their words, be very afraid.
JAY ELECTRONICA FEAT. JAY-Z “SHINY SUIT THEORY”
Over the weekend, Diddy sent out a cryptic tweet about a friend betraying him. Electronica responded, thinking it was about him. Diddy cleared the air, and now all appears to be well. See below.