Jay Electronica, "Exhibit C"

84 Billboard Rating

Jay Electronica has been a sensation in Internet hip-hop circles for years, but the triumphant-sounding "Exhibit C" is the mysterious rapper's first flirtation with broader recognition, landing him on stations like WQHT (Hot 97) New York without major-label support. Working with an orchestrated sample from Billy Stewart's "Cross My Heart," producer Just Blaze gives Electronica the sort of airy, soulful backdrop he might have provided Jay-Z for 2001's "The Blueprint." Electronica's lyrical approach is more akin to Jigga's old rival Nas, though. He details his bouts with homelessness and regional prejudices (he's from New Orleans) before delving into a lyrically dense, technically precise volley of cryptic religious references and old-school rap allusions. The track feels like a prelude to something much bigger-it's just not clear what that is at the moment.

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