Jay Electronica Praises Soulja Boy, Reveals Project With Nas

'You can expect multiple projects this year,' MC tells Mixtape Daily.

The O.D.: A Mixtape Daily Exclusive

The reception Jay Electronica has been getting from fans during his U.K. tour has been just as enthusiastic as his feedback Stateside. Fans and critics still love “Exhibit C” and some of Jay’s other underground gems. People are clamoring for the street CD Act II and the official LP Act III, and Jay said he’s going to deliver both of those projects and more this year.

“It’s still Act II. Act III, the official album, which ‘Exhibit A’ and ‘Exhibit C’ are a part of [as well as] ‘Dear Moleskin,’ ” Jay said in Europe earlier this week. “Me and Mos [Def] have a project that we’re doing, me and Guilty Simpson have a project that we’re doing. I would like to do a project with Lupe — [Fiasco] we’re going to do a project at some point. Me and Nas have a project that we’re doing . I’m just trying. I’m in the process of working and connecting. I don’t really feel like a song or an album is the end-all, be-all to what we’re doing.

“You can expect my album this year,” he added. “You can expect multiple projects this year. We’re going to do a lot this year.”

Electronica is focused on responsibilities outside of rap, including raising a baby daughter with singer Erykah Badu.

“Dealing with a lot personally, that not necessarily takes me away from my music, because it comes through in my music as well. But as a person trying to grow and figure out how to handle things, learn and be a man — all that’s a part of the process too. It’s hard to put a release date on those type of things when you’re factoring those things in.”

The New Orleans native said that “Exhibit A” producer Just Blaze will produce 65 percent of his solo debut. Jay’s commanding mic presence and wordplay have captured the ears of many, and he said he has no choice but to come with sustaining lyrics like “I make the devil hit his knees and say, ‘To our father’ ” — he’s a product of his golden-era-of-rap influences.

“The lyricism in my music — I come from a different era,” he explained. “I was born in ’76. I was raised in the ’80s. I’m an ’80s baby. LL Cool J was the first person that inspired me to rhyme. I have a lot of bragging in my rhymes. LL was my first enlightenment. If you would have asked me this two years ago, I would have said lyricism was lacking. Like somebody would say Soulja Boy … you would say he’s not a lyricist, right? If you took a poll and said, ‘Is Soulja Boy a lyricist?’ People would say no, right? But it’s not the words, it’s energy of what he does that’s the lyrics. It’s not the lyrics — the energy of it is the connector. The energy of it is greater than the words of it. In a sense, lyrics has been lacking in the contest of grammar and vocabulary, but the spirit and energy of it is never gone — or else the complete genre of hip-hop is gone.”

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