What’s more surprising: the world crumbling around us in real time or Jay Electronica releasing a debut album, A Written Testimony, with JAY-Z on nearly every track? I gave up on the idea of a Jay Electronica solo album when I was a teenager trying to perfect the “Call me Jay Elec-Hannukah, Jay Elec yarmulke” section of “Exhibit C” in my bedroom. Yet Jay Electronica’s allure persists to this day, and “The Neverending Story,” the fourth track on the album, put me at ease for the first time in days. Over a soulful groove from The Alchemist, Jay Elec is in top form. “If you want to be a master in life, you must submit to a master/I was born to lock horns with the devil at the brink of the hereafter,” says Jay Elec, weaving myth and reality together. JAY-Z’s victory lap perfectly coexists with this wizardry: “I’m a miracle born with imperial features/I’m a page turner, sage burner, santeria,” says JAY, his swag is everlasting. Watching the two come together at such an uncertain time is cathartic.
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