Jay Rock 90059 Album Review
TDE’s very own hitter Jay Rock finally dropped his 90059 album on 11th September after an interesting marketing campaign from the label.
The release date for Jay Rocks album was put up as October 2016 and would only be pushed forward with each pre order until they upped the date to September 2015. A bit of a gamble depending on your following/fanbase but as you could imagine TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) have a rather big one.
Whether that will translate into sales for Rock is another question as his predicted first week sales are between 14-17k . But I’d like to think he would go over 100k within a couple months. This may not be huge judging on other members sales (Kendrick’s “TPAB” reached 324k, Ab soul “These days” 22k and Schoolboy Q “Oxymoron” 139k). But having said that Kendrick and Schoolboy Q are signed to Interscope and the others aren’t.
So some of you may know that Jay Rock has actually been around for years and released numerous projects after signing to TDE in 2005. It was only in 2011 his debut album “Follow Me Home” was released. Now at that point it was a much younger, rawer Rock his album still had some good tracks and the foundations were laid for his brand of west coast gangsta rap. He had a couple of features from his black hippy counterparts,Chris Brown, Will.i.am and even Lil Wayne but overall a less polished product than his recent stuff.
Example of one of the lead singles below:
The rest of you like myself may only have heard Rock from his show stealing guest verse on “Money Trees” on Good Kid Mad City. For me that blew him up in my opinion and I kept a listen out for him from then on.
Money trees for people that don’t know:
Now into 90059 this album is a whole other type of album but still maintains the gangsta ish with some laidback jams as well. There have been 3 singles so far in the form of “money trees deuce (sequel to money trees), Gumbo and most recently 90059”.
Coming in at only 11 tracks long its a solid effort and if you like Jay Rock this will be a good addition to his catalogue, if you’re not really a Jay Rock fan you may find yourself being turned into one by this album.
Starting off with “Necessary” which is a gutter beginning to the album with lines like “f*** the world that bitch better grab her toes” so you get the picture. The chorus talks about struggling and kill or be killed so serves as an introduction to the world of Jay Rock.
Next is “Easy Bake” featuring Kendrick Lamar and Sza flipping the same sample as the Lox posse cut “Ain’t None Of Y’all Betta”. This is more gutterness with a slight trap feel to it and was put out as an unofficial single to the net. There’s some bar trading between Kendrick and Rock before a break down with a funked out feel to it and Sza dropping some nice vocals.
“Gumbo” is a laid back jam with some soulful vocals on the chorus. Initially its something beat wise I wouldn’t associate with Rock but he carries it off well and there’s a lot of that on this album with modern production and slightly more in tuned to the current TDE sound.
Following on from here we have “Wanna Ride” featuring fellow TDE signee Isiah Rashad which is another chilled out joint and could be accused of being filler on album like this.
Now for one of my favourites “The Way” with a catchy beat and chorus I think this could have easily been a single and is something that would have been a hit for a rapper with a bigger following in my opinion. Not too much to think about with this song just a nice vibe and tight production.
With “Telegram (Going Krazy) we have Rocks version of a song for the ladies with the man himself even having a little sing song with the chorus. The production on this song by J.LBS aka Jason Pounds could easily fit into the soulful hip hop area. He actually produced a large chunk of this album including “The Way” and I feel like he could be one to watch going forward.
The title song “90059” has Lance Skiiwalker doing his best impression of ODB for the intro and chorus with a beat that could easily be out of Rza’s archives. Rock’s verses are hard hitting as usual and this song completely changes the tone of the album. I feel like the chorus is very polarizing and is a key point in the album.
“Vice City” is the albums posse cut with the rest of black hippy: Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q. A Trunk rattling beat with all rappers going in and using a similar flow to Ludacris’s “Stop Start” mixing with their own off beat flow to great effect. Definitely another a solid cut on the album and there’s also an accompanying video that was released the day before the album dropped as promo. Another note is this the first official/commercial black hippy song in a few years so will satisfy those fans.
“Fly on the wall” is one of the more introspective tracks on the album with a sombre feel to it, Macy Gray with a rare appearance on the hook and a quiet feature from Busta Rhymes who takes the time to remind you this is their 4th collaboration since 2009.
“Money Trees Deuce” is Rocks solo sequel to infamous to “Money Trees” completely different vibe to the original but Rock flips it well, spitting his S*** while on a less aggressive vibe. This fits in well with the overall theme of the album and another solid track.
The album rounds off with “The Message” featuring the man of the moment BJ the Chicago Kid (side note if you don’t know about him hit google, GREAT artist). This song has a tough beat with a lot of jazz influence, a saxophone plays throughout the whole song and BJ kills the chorus. This rounds the album off nicely and leaves a solid imprint of who Jay Rock is if you didn’t know yet.
Overall I like this album and having listened to it since release day I feel this isn’t based on a first listen/knee jerk reaction. If you want more super lyrical, introspective, conscious type lyrics go and listen to Kendrick, if you’re a bit more open and like some gangsta ish with some laidback vibes in there this is this album for you. Rock doesn’t take himself too seriously throughout the project and delivers well after a 4 year wait.
All in all I would give this album 7.5/8 out of 10, its a cohesive project and another solid project under the TDE umbrella.
Hope you all enjoy the read.
Ramblings of a music fan