For his whole career, Jay Electronica has traded heavily on not treating his music like a career, and allowing mystique and scarcity—and of course his unique talent—to keep him afloat. But as we approach four years since one of the most lyrical songs ever, "Exhibit C," without much to show for it besides a stray track here and a Mac Miller collab there.
You have to wonder whether we'll ever get an album, much less whether it'd be worth the wait. Andre 3000 can drop sporadic bombs on the rap world and spend years teasing the possibility of an album, but his legend is already assured with a thick back catalog. By comparison, Jay Electronica's greatness is more like a rumor.
Last month, in the thick of a summer full of big releases by his Roc Nation labelmates, Jay tweeted "it's my turn." But he also tweeted 16 months earlier that the album was done. Meanwhile, guys like Kendrick and J. Cole are out there enjoying the kind of careers that many fans envisioned for Jay Electronica, whose superiority to those and other artists remains largely theoretical and untested.