Lyrically, Jay Rock is in fine form on "Redemption."
The redemption arc is underfoot. Jay Rocks stands, arguably one of TDE's more underrated soldiers, albeit one of the founding fathers. Stories of his reputation as the Black Hippy OG are well known. As such, Rock can call upon one of the biggest rappers in the world to play his hype-man. Now, Jay Rock has come through with his new studio album Redemption, which follows up's 2015 effort 90059. Were you keeping your ear to the streets, you'd know that Jay's project featured an impressive lineup of guest contributors, including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, SZA, Future, and Jeremih. Yet luckily, the project gives Rock ample time to shine.
Lyrically, Jay Rock has never been a slouch, bringing a sturdy blend of street narratives, braggadocio, and introspection to the mix. Closer in content to ScHoolboy Q than he is Kenny or Ab-Soul, Jay Rock's voice seems to suggest a wealth of experience. There's a certain gravitas to his bars, reminiscent of West Coast staples like Ice Cube or Xzibit. In that regard, Rock has established himself as a welcome addition to the game, as presences like his are in sore supply.
Therefore, allow us to shine a light on some of Jay Rock's hardest bars. Don't forget, Redemption dropped today, and it may very well prove to be one of the summer's definitive drops. You've already played "King's Dead" to death. Now do the same with its brethren.
The devil thought he had me, I was on back burners
Moonwalkin' fast, y'all respect my journey
Evil tappin' in like the Feds was watchin'
No album, no dope, I was all out of options
I'd rather rob than get a job, don't insult me
Remember it was nicks and dimes in '03
I was doing bad so I took your bag
Tables turned, lessons learned, karma come back fast
Battle scars and tribulations, downfalls from the situations
I bounced off with dedication, accounted for my participation
Gettin' pounds off, gettin' rounds off, gettin' blocks back I facilitated
When I sound off, you a groundhog, that's a casket and a pillow waitin'
Magic in a dope spot, four chickens, that's Popeye's
More spinach, that's Popeye, four women sippin' Mai Tais
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
Tryna solve my problems off this fifth of Henny
How many fucks to give, lately, I'm running empty
Struggle with who I am and who I wanna be
Got the streets and these beats right in front of me
Should I kill this n***a or should I let him slide?
If I don't, he double back, we got family ties?
If I do, I can't rap, and that's suicide
These n****s tellin', turn you to felons, twenty-five
She like, "Johnny, you know this pussy yours and only yours
Take the rubber off, there's more passion you could explore"
If she see me on TV tellin' the girls about me
And all she saw was a Benz and thought the world about me
She think her n***a a lick and I got rapper money
And child support is the legal way she can ask for money
A1 yola, that fresh over the border shit
Shoot outs and abortions, situations so unfortunate
I knew a n***a, doin' double digits, bust the head wide
For another n***a, who's scared to rep his set right
Now in solitary, doin' push ups by his bedside
All you want is a Green Dot, his homie keepin' himself fly
Don't come around without your pass, n***s on they tip
Zero tolerance on n***s money, n***s want they shit
Black lives matter out here, no way
Cops get promotions while the family gotta pray
It's fucked up, can't explain, babies all in a dump truck
It's all about that money mane, miss me with that Trump stuff
GTA, 211s, double dutchin', Mack-11s
Section 8, welfare, EBTs on the dresser
Crash dummies, real killers, fast money kill n***s
Blast for me, real n***a, ask for me, deal with you
Pay your fare, play it fair, here's a scale, weight it here
Kick a door, head choke, take it all, hit the stairs
The cars got repoed, the bills they add up
My bitch done left me, I smoked my last one
I'm high with no sleep, I pray a bag come
I just might grab one, I just might blast one of you
Cause I ain't got nothin' to lose
But I got these wins to gain, and I don't feel comfortable
One thing that I've learnt all these years
Is to block devils off of my ears
Cause fairytales don't end well
When the fame and fortune not here
This system'll give it to you when you gettin' to it
How could you calm down?
Cause soon as your guard's down, it's a pistol to it
G-ride special, it's a Buick, I'm guilty but I said I didn't do it
Pressure bust pipes like a gun fight, I ain't never bring a knife to it
I done been through it and I been through it
All the rah-rah, I'm in a high rise
Instead of music and the interviewin'
I could be a n***a dead interviewin'
Would you take a look inside of my eyes?
I'm surrounded by a bunch of blind guys
And it's like that, lil' bitch
MVP, I don't get no sleep, no, I don't like that, lil' bitch
Bust that open, I want that ocean, yeah that bite back, lil' bitch
Do it bite back, lil' bitch? Need two life jackets, lil' bitch
I ain't gon' hold you, I ain't gon' press you, never control you
I ain't gon' front you, keep it 100, I don't know you
Boss like Top Dawg, bossed my life up, crossin' over
Stutter steppin', got a Hall of Fame in all my posters
Day ones in the sandbox, from breakin' through the padlocks
To burners in the stashbox, your whole hood mascots
My whole hood mad Watts, that's gang, gang, gang
We politic, on missions, don't hang, hang, hang
We got bad bitches too huh, and they blast bitches too huh
And they shoot the fair one too huh, we can take it there too hu
Can I do my shiznit? Can I be specific?
Can I chase this grip without lookin' too big for my britches?
Am I too prolific? The vision my pugilistic
Moods insisted food come from them tools he's so choose to use
Now Harriet Tubman say she freed a thousand slaves
Could've freed a thousand more if they was aware of the chains
What's under the rugs remaining unexplained, truth is mostly taboo
Even when it's starin' back at you like an enemy tattoo
Refusin' to play the statue, I take action, without quittin'
Until I reach my point of satisfaction, not givin' a crap what happens
The damage is done but who's to blame? Finger pointin', namin' names
Nobody willin' to pay that full admission to ride the gravy train
Death is a part of life, happens daily, gotta face the pain
I be limpin' through it with lacerations, both my ankles sprained
Can't rely on politics, or that 1% to gain power
Daily givin' kibbles to let them own your life for 8 hours
If you had a second chance in life, what would you do?
Would you put the pills down? Throw out the lean too?
Treat your baby mama right and make way for your kids?
Peace with your enemies, keep the water under the bridge?
I think 'bout if my motorcycle crash was fatal
Broken bones, internal bleedin', stretched on the table
Goin' through surgery, two machines helpin' me breathe
Sorry mama, I wanna stay but I gotta leave
I see my funeral packed, I see some lyin', some cryin' and some givin' dap
I see false claimers, strangers and foes with they head in they laps