We first covered Jayaire Woods in 2015. After a strong run including one of our favorites "Toolong," the Chicago rapper signed with Quality Control, home of Lil Yachty, Migos, and Lil Baby. It was an odd pairing, and eventually Woods decided it wasn't the right fit. "Leaving QC was a mutual decision and the best option for me," he explains. "We weren’t 100% aligned creatively, which led to a lot of other things but I’ll always be grateful to them for giving me an opportunity to show my talent."

Going into 2020, Jayaire Woods is making the best music of his career so far. He's a young rapper with an old soul, meshing bluesy melodies with heartfelt flows more in line with Mos Def than Migos. Despite his detour, the love for creating hasn't wavered: "Music has been pretty good to me so far. Many ups and downs, but the ups are worth the downs. I’ve learned so much about taking risks and betting on yourself. You really have to believe in yourself to keep at it with this."

Coming in January of 2020, Woods has a project called Life is Grand. The body of work is based on those ups and downs he's experienced so far. "Nothing is ever all good," he says, " but we gotta try to enjoy it while we're here. It's both sides, but I hope it brings more joy than pain."

Hear album opener "Nushoes" below, and check out "Long Time" with Caleborate and Innanet James here.

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