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Album Review: Jay Rock ‘90059’

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Finally, after the long wait, Jay Rock’s sophomore album 90059 is finally here!

It’s been over four years since Rock’s first studio album, and many feared his LP would not hit stores until next year, as it was originally scheduled to release May 16, 2016. Remember, Follow Me Home was released long before Kendrick Lamar and TDE became household names. The debut came out only weeks after K-Dot’s acclaimed Section.80 and, whelp; we all know what happened next. K-Dot blew up and Jay Rock patiently played the background. While his debut gained positive reviews, it was a commercial flop and is the most forgettable album of TDE’s discography.

Now lets get into the album. Right from the start, 90059 begins with the hard knocking track “Necessary,” showcasing Rock’s lyrical prowess and distinctive, tough tone that sets him apart from the rest of his TDE label-mates. The sinister vibe and in-your-face lyrics of Kendrick and Jay Rock trading bars like a West Coast Jada and Styles while songbird Sza’s sultry voice flows throughout the track might easily make “Easy Bake” 90059’s stand-out single. Jay Rock is lyrically dangerous on every track on 90059; especially on the LP’s lead single “Gumbo.” The track was released a few months back and the blogs had a field day with it. The haunting intro of “Telegram (Going Krazy),” featuring Lance Skiiiwalker, immediately makes you brace yourself for something really sinister with blends of howls in background of the jazz-inspired production. The track finds Jay Rock detailing his dislike for social media to the lady in his life and how it’s root of all relationship evils. “90059” shares its name with the album title, and Jay Rock uses his Ol’ Dirty Bastard flow over the menacing Tae Beast produced track. Jay Rock freestyles with no subject matter on this track, but the bars are potent and set the tone perfectly for the next song.

One of the most anticipated records off the LP is, of course, the Black Hippy collaboration, “Vice City,” and the record doesn’t disappoint in the least. Kendrick is first up to bat delivering a new Loaded Lux preacher flow, Jay Rock follows with some hard, menacing bars, Ab-Soul jumps on the track dropping double-entendres everywhere, and Schoolboy Q joins the posse, raging about the perks of his new fame and fortune. “Money Trees Deuce” serves as the sequel to the track “Money Trees” off of Kendrick’s debut album, and with Jay Rock’s excellent verse on the first installment, “Money Trees Deuce” doesn’t fail to match up to the original. The track has a mellow tone, but Jay Rock’s vigorous rap style pairs perfectly with the smooth production. “The Message” closes things out with Jay Rock rhyming about his conflict of having one foot still firmly planted in the street and the other in the rap world.

Though it’s been a long wait for this project, it was well worth it. 90059 is Jay Rock’s proper introduction to the masses. The jazz inspired production is superb, with layers of emotion and clever word play. The album is a brisk 11 tracks that leaves you wanting more from the Watts native. The gritty rhyme-spitter returns from his four-year hiatus to deliver a no-nonsense album with well placed features. 90059 is Jay Rock living up to the promise rap fans knew he was capable of.