Not since the days of Death Row Records has the West Coast seen such a boom in new talent. Branded as the New West, this wave of artists has been positioned to speak to the world, and place the spotlight on their scared Cali territory. Perhaps no one knows the significance of keeping it close to home more than Jay Rock. The Watts bred MC has faced his share of struggles, both at home and within the music industry. Fueled by his California pride, and a mean delivery that channels Notorious B.I.G., Jay has been building up his presence in the game. Now, Jay is revving up to drop his Strange Music debut, Follow Me Home, and the timing could not be any better for the world to hear his story.
Everything about Jay Rock screams West Coast. His upbringing in Watts set the tone for what would later become the heart of his music. His sincere take on gang violence, poverty, and street life give his words a touch of pain that leaves little room for apologies. Like many before him, Jay only looks to show the world what it’s like to grow up under such conditions. The grief that comes through in his voice is only comparable to that which was once so prominent in Tupac’s music. Draped in a white tee and with a weathered expression on his face, Jay practically embodies the very struggles he speaks on. It’s his ability to take listeners into his world that drives a release like Follow Me Home.
Thanks to Jay’s grind, his album has received a legendary assist. As one the biggest names in West Coast music, Dr. Dre knows what it takes to release hit records. His contributions helped redefine an entire genre of music, and as a mentor, he is responsible for the success behind artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, and Game. Having seen something special in Jay Rock, Dr. Dre lent his talents to the mixing process of Follow Me Home. DJ Quik also joined in during the sessions, giving Jay Rock even more ammunition in his mission to bring Cali back to the top. Surely no one could have a larger influence on a West Coast record than Dr. Dre himself. Not only will his presence help push Follow Me Home as a major record, but it will also establish Jay as a top contender for California’s next star. Jay is swimming in a sea of talent, and it is up to him to rise above the rest.
Follow Me Home has been lucky enough to generate major interest in the hip hop community. It boasts top features from the likes of Lil Wayne, Will.i.am, Lloyd, Ne-Yo, Game, Busta Rhymes, Tech N9ne, and 50 Cent. Jay’s brush with the mainstream world has definitely become a great advantage in the making of his record. The challenge now is, can Jay really highlight the best of West Coast music and not get lost among the dozens of New West MCs? Jay has every resource to pull from, and if he manages to just deliver the same honest music that he has been, then audiences everywhere should have no problem following him back home.
-Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval
Click here to pre-order Jay Rock’s Follow Me Home, featuring guest appearances from Tech N9ne, Lil Wayne, Game, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Will.i.am, and Chris Brown.