In recent years, Top Dawg Entertainment has developed a cult following, but not necessarily because of Compton’s Jay Rock. While he’s an original member of TDE, it’s fellow Compton artist by the name Kendrick who’s collected all the attention. That said, Jay Rock is too talented to be in anybody’s shadow. In 2015, he released 90059 and showed the world just that. Even though it was his third album, it made the most noise.
Fast forward to 2018, Jay Rock is back and he’s better. He’s also here to remind us why so many think the West Coast has Hip-Hop in a chokehold. You don’t have to be a TDE fan or a Kendrick Lamar fan to know Redemption is a special album. This album wastes no time. If you weren’t expecting any bangers, track 1 will beg to differ. A Jake One and Boi1da produced “The Bloodiest,” provides a roaring welcome to the the album where Rock reflects on his 2016 motorcycle accident and rolls out thecarpet for himself in 2018: “Jay Rock and I’m back b*tch!”
It’s evident that Jay Rock and TDE are respected in the industry, looking at the album credits it’s not hard to tell. When it comes to production, you’d be hard pressed to find a beat that lacks on Redemption. HIT-BOY, Cardo, Boi1da, Mike-Will-Made-It, Top Dawg and relatively unknown producer Hykeem Carter headline the producers who provide a family of beats that are repeat-worthy. There might be some features you’re familiar with here, topped by K-Dot himself.
Cornrow Kenny appears twice on Redemption; one of which on mega-hit “King’s Dead,” which earned a spot in this year’s Marvel blockbuster: Black Panther. Jeremih, Future (“King’s Dead”), J. Cole, and SZA form the remaining roster of featured artists on Redemption and they didn’t come to miss.
The album’s 6th track, “Top Out,” is highlight worthy featuring a healthy, co-produced beat by Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and D.K. The Punisher. Add a hook from Jeremih, who never misses on a hook, and you’ve got a song you and your friends can take turns dancing to at a summer function. The next track will please the Cole World listeners out there. “OSOM” moves slower than most of the songs on Redemption, but its pace matches its tone. Here, Rock walks us through paranoia about success and the evil it brings. Enter J. Cole, who matches the songs melancholic tone to deliver a heavy verse about depression, self-medication and fake friendships.
As mentioned before, Kendrick shows up twice. The second time is on the “Wow Freestyle,” where Rock and K-Dot team up for a vibrant array of rhymes. Turn-for-turn, the two Compton natives ooze over HIT-BOY & G Dav’s co-produced creation with what sounds like flutes. Flutes have been hot lately. I think it’s safe to say they got it how they used to get it, like when Top had the red charger. Finally, Jay Rock goes out with a bang on the album’s last track called “WIN.” A true motivator, a hustler’s anthem, a get-off-your-behind-and-go-get-it soundtrack. This time the production is courtesy of Boi-1da and Vinylz, a thunderous beat with horns in the background.
From 90059 to Redemption, it’s going to be interesting to see what the future has in store him. Redemption is one of the best projects we’ve heard in this 2018. Jay Rock is heating up, and something tells me he’s not going anywhere for a while.
By: Dallas Coronado