We went to the NYC "90059" listening party.
The backyard patio at Alife in Manhattan's Lower East Side reeked of weed and anticipation as hundreds of fans patiently waited for Jay Rock to come out and share 90059, the culmination of four years of hard work. When he finally hopped up on the mini-stage in a white tee, he wasted no time getting into it. Over 45 minutes he shared eight of the album's eleven songs, loud enough to piss the neighbors off 10x over. The audience's general reaction to hearing the album was some aggressive head bobbing and approving murmuring. "This shit is hard."
Host Rob Markman tossed Jay Rock questions every couple songs and he gave the shuffling, humble answers of a star running back after a big win. "I just be staying in the studio working on my craft, "he said," because I [went] back and listened to my old shit, I’m like, 'damn, I can go harder than that.' It was just about making good records."
Jay Rock wanted the music do the talking and he emphasized repeatedly that the album would drop as soon as enough people pre-ordered it. In lieu of his own reflections on the music, here are three takeaways from the 90059 listening party.