"I'm just here to give you the real, man. And just basically give y'all more of me," says Jay Rock during a radio interview. Redemption, the Watts rapper's 3rd full-length, is just that, an introspective 13-tracker that details his personal stories of struggles and triumphs. As the first signee of Top Dawg Entertainment, Rock has always been playing for the winning team (Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Schoolboy Q are also on the roster). But this project pushes him to franchise-player status, and the robust, trumpet-driven "Win" captures the victory lap perfectly. But the road to claiming his trophy has been full of trials and tribulations; Rock's life in the streets ("The devil thought he had me, I was on back burners / Moonwalkin' fast, ya'll respect my journey" - "The Bloodiest") has held him back from coming up, and in 2016, he was involved in a motorcycle accident ("I know saints, I know sinners, I know bosses / I know pain, I know wins, I know losses." - "Redemption") that almost claimed his life. It's the balance between the ups and downs that sets the foundation for the LP, and with production from Sounwave, Hit-Boy, Mike will Made It, Boi-1da and more, Jay Rock is able to deliver a dynamic, in-depth body of work that lets the listener take a walk in his once bloodied shoes. In addition to the aforementioned songs, check out "Wow Freestyle," "Tap Out," and "OSOM."
- printed insert
- music label: Interscope Records 2018
reviewed by pocari papi 08/18