“Gangster rap was the best and worst thing to ever happen to west coast hip-hop” opens the DJBooth.net review for Jay Rock’s debut album Follow Me Home. While the gangster rap movement put LA on the hip hop map, it also prevented many aspiring West Coast MCs from emerging beyond its looming shadow.
DJBooth.net addresses this notion with Jay Rock’s Follow Me Home, noting that his willingness to explore the gangster territory is an “interesting” choice, given that the New West movement has just started to stretch these artistic boundaries.
While Jay Rock’s subject matter might have been explored before, but to DJBooth.net, his originality comes from his simplicity:
“Throughout the album Rock shows that there’s more to him that you can first hear, but not much more, and that’s exactly what can make him compelling. There’s no artifice here, no fantasies or gimmick. What you see is what you get, and that’s a sadly rare situation in today’s game.”
According the DJBooth.net review, authenticity triumphs as an artistic achievement over any original subject matter. While Jay Rock’s tales of hood struggles are a familiar one, his unflinching honesty makes him stand out.
Click here to read the full review.
What matters more: originality or authenticity?