Fans have waited 11 years since the release of Jay Electronica’s first single, ”Exhibit A,” to hear a full-length project. 3,921 days later, Jay Electronica released his debut album, A Written Testimony, at 43 years old.
It’s hard to say if any project is worth waiting 11 years for, but Jay Electronica released an Album of the Year-contending album in A Written Testimony. This album contains features from Jay-Z on almost every track, as well as some other features throughout the project.
Both Jay-Z and Jay Electronica consistently shine throughout the album with amazing verses and immaculate wordplay. The first official track after the intro, ”Ghost of Soulja Slim,” starts off with an incredible performance by Jay-Z, followed by Jay Electronica bringing the same gritty energy to the track. In short, the first song shows the audience just how impressive the chemistry is between the two, and it continues throughout the project.
The following track, ”The Blinding (feat. Travis Scott)” is another showcase of their amazing chemistry with them trading bars back and forth. The confidence in their voices and their verbose lines throughout their songs is what makes this project one of the most exciting to release in a while.
The final track, ”A.P.I.D.T.A.,” is an incredibly moody and somber track that speaks on the loss of loved ones, and how dealing with grief can be tough when you don’t want to let go. Jay-Z and Jay Electronica saved the most hard-hitting, relatable track for the end to seal off an amazing project.
While Jay-Z’s features were immensely valuable to many tracks, no one can discredit the mastery that Jay Electronica shows on this project. Speaking on everything from mental health to the state of Islam, Jay Electronica provides raw, unapologetically unique bars consistently.
One of the best tracks on the album is ”Fruits Of The Spirit,” where Jay Electronica shows how he can clearly carry a track on his own with ease. Switching between English and Spanish with clever bars in both languages is just one aspect of his versatility and importance as an artist today.
A Written Testimony is one of the most lyrically impressive performances by both Jay Electronica and Jay-Z, as well as one of the most impressive raw hip-hop albums to be released in a while. Although the album was very impressive, it would have been more pleasing to hear more Jay Electronica work his magic on his own, which he is clearly capable of.
Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled a song on the album reviewed. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.