Sunday, January 22, 2012

War with The Dragon: Jay Electronica - "Dimethyltryptamine" (Dilla Beat CD's)

Jay Electronica is quite arguably the most prolific, storied, and mysterious rapper(s) of our current generation all rolled into one; A man who's painfully short backcatalog speaks nearly endless volumes. Aside from a few batches of tracks with unknown origins, Electronica has only released about 5 single-worthy tunes since quietly appearing on the scene in 2004: 16-minute [debut] opus "Act I: Eternal Sunshine (the pledge)," "Exhibit A (Transformations)," "Exhibit C," "Shiny Suit Theory," and "The Announcement." Since Act I's initial release (2007), it's proper Nas-assisted follow-up has often been long-rumored, time and time again. Frankly @ this point, I'm beginning to wonder whether or not it even exists. Soon after signing to Jay-Z's very own Roc-Nation label in 2010, Jay Electronica announced the supposed completion of "Act II: Patents of Nobility (the turn)" via Twitter.

Don't hold your breath... and in the meantime, let's take a trip back to a more positive, productive period of Jay Electronica's fledging young career: The early 2000's. After fleeing post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, Electronica essentially became a nomad - Living and quickly leaving major cities including: Philly, Baltimore, Detroit, New York, and Atlanta. During his stay in Detroit, Jay Electronica managed to spark up a friendship with producer-engineer, Mike "Chav" Chavarria, who in turn introduced him to both J Dilla and Mr. Porter [Kon Artis]. From what I can tell, there are about 6-8 Jay Electronica tracks flourished with Dilla-crafted beats:

"Well, they were songs that I recorded before he passed [2006], but we didn't work on them together. The songs of mine over Dilla beats are from an album I did back then called War with The Dragon and we hadn't had the opportunity to work [together] then."

I'm almost positive that the bulk of these J Dilla donuts were pulled from Beat CD '05 #1-3, a set which leaked online shortly after Dilla's death but was surely floating around industry circles for a while. "Dimethyltryptamine" was alternately used to soundtrack DOOM's flow on a segment of "Gazillion Ear" from Born Like This (2009) and "Suckas" originally appeared on Busta Rhymes & Mick Boogie's Dillagence (2007) as "Takin' What's Mine." Eager fans can expect Jay Electronica's proper Roc-Nation debut, "Act II: Patents of Nobility (the turn)" TBR sometime within the next 3-5 years.



    Got it from someone in Detroit who knew Jay. I have the full CD at home somewhere, but I'm sending over the tracks I have on my computer. The CD had "Don't Sleep!!!" and a few New Orleans phone numbers written on it in sharpie. These haven't been released anywhere on the internet, to my knowledge. I think this is part of the War With the Dragon album from back when he was working with Diddy. Cheers

    1. I'm really interested in hearing those other tracks. Post them if you can!