Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1093

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Jay Electronica: EartH, Hackney, London 20/9/19

Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com
Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com Jay Electronica: Earth, Hackney, London 20-9-19 @bluesandsoul.com

It's fair to say that Jay Electronica's album is keeping hip hop fans chatting - largely due to its absence. Incredibly it's been a decade since "Exhibit A" and the stunning "Exhibit C" were released, hot on the heels of his "Eternal Sunshine" project. These marked him as one of the most exciting rappers on the planet, and convinced Jay-Z to take a punt on him, signing him to the Roc Nation label.

Since then there have been a handful of tracks, including superb collaboration "Road To Perdition", but a long player remains elusive… Earlier this year Electronica hinted the two Jays were working on more music, but it's fair to say patient fans are getting restless. When it is finally announced, it will be one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums ever.

The rapper, who lived in London for several years, touched down for a show at EartH in Hackney, and unsurprisingly tickets were fast snapped up. There's no doubting he's a compelling live act, maintaining a constant dialogue with the crowd.

It was, he told fans, his first show since the death of his mother, and he channeled the grief into a mesmerising version of "Eternal Sunshine". His flow is first rate, and his freestyles demonstrated why supporters have kept the faith.

There were lighter moments, including when he facetimed his ex, Erykah Badu, to the delight of the audience.

As with previous times I've seen him, it wasn't long before he was out in the crowd, performing "Exhibit C" from the middle of a mosh pit, and not missing a beat through "Road To Perdition".

The 43-year-old's output has been consistently high, and by all rights he'd be filling much bigger venues and comfortably be acknowledged as one of the greats. Hopefully the album, when it does come out, will start to cement that position.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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