Step Right Up: Jeremiah Jae
Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry
“I think it’s safe to say Jeremiah Jae is one of my favourite artists of his generation. For years now I’ve been a witness to the incredible progression of his craft. This album has a complex dedication and honesty that I reach for in myself with my own art. Underrated, understated, Jae is ready to show these muhfuckers what’s really good. Believe in Jeremiah Jae”. -Flying Lotus
Jeremiah Jae’s first full-length for the Brainfeeder label, ‘Raw Money Raps’ looks set to be one of the best hip hop albums of 2012. Jae’s album is a fine showcase of his qualities as emcee, producer and healer. The 21-year-old Chicago native is undeniably the brightest star of 2012. His matter-of-fact rapping style strikes similarities with Shabazz Palaces’ ‘Black Up’ album released last year on Sub Pop. Both albums have pushed boundaries in the hip hop genre where similar rapping styles are on display. Shabazz Palaces’ album featured heavily on numerous end-of-year polls last year and certainly Jeremiah Jae’s ‘Raw Money Raps’ will do the same in 2012.
The mish-mash style of Jae is reminiscent of Madlib’s unique and visionary beat making. All genres and styles of music are heard throughout ‘Raw Money Raps’ beneath the psychedelic beats and sampling of Jae. Across the album’s 19 tracks, a rampant lyrical flow is on display by Jeremiah Jae, together with utterly contemporary beats and samples. My highlight is ‘Seasons’ with its deep bass groove, irresistible samples and slow tempo feel. ‘When the seasons start to change/I find I’m out of place’ is the lyrics of the chorus. A soul vocal singing ‘pieces’ is looped continuously over the fresh beats as the soul groove gets bigger and better. ‘As the days of yesterday, move right outside my window’ is the opening lyric to ‘Seasons’ and at 3 minutes in length, the song is sublime. ‘Money and Food’ is ideal for the dance floors with its building synth pop grandeur. ‘Cable’ closes the album with a sample of strings taken from Pixar’s ‘up’ (?) played beneath Jeremiah Jae’s rapping. ‘Cat Fight’ is another milestone. A serious soul/funk sample with doo wop guitar, strings and harmonica creates the groove and ammunition for Jae. A vocal sample is heard on the outro: ‘You wanna spit on me and make me cry?/I’m gonna piss on your grave tomorrow’. The track pulls out all the stops! ‘The Great Escape’ is a beautiful bossa nova hip hop mix of styles with the opening words ‘It’s beautiful’ summing it all up. ‘Guns Go Off’ is an anthem powered with thumping beats and synths over the refrain of ‘Guns go off, baby guns go off’.
Interestingly, Jeremiah Jae’s father was a musician who worked with Miles Davis. In the words of the 21-year-old Jae, he aims to ‘express freely and honestly through the platforms of hip hop, jazz, pop, rock and healing frequencies’ and in turn, ‘help heal and rid the body of musical toxins that are filling the frequencies of the planet today’.
Believe in Jeremiah Jae indeed.
‘Raw Money Raps’ is out now on Brainfeeder.