Sunday, February 28, 2010

As I type this I'm watching Jay Electronica live on UStream from London. He's been on for the past two hours drinking, smoking, playing music, and having a good time alongside long-time collaborator DJ TJ. He gave out his phone number early on and started taking calls from viewers. "I have a few drinks onstage cause I be nervous" he tells his fans online in an attempt to explain his slightly-drunken behavior. Ten minutes later he's drunk dialing Diddy.

When he doesn't answer, Jay Elect decides to show some archival footage of Diddy bitching him out via webcam as punishment for the ignored call. Up next on the call list are Lil Wayne (also a no-answer) and Jay's girlfriend, Erykah Badu. The call is supposed to be a surprise wake-up call, but the first thing Erykah says is "Baby, I see you on the webcam." Jay laughs and apologizes, "Baby I'm sorry but we drunk. Me and TJ, we drunk."

After that he attempts (and fails) to reach Drake, Q-Tip, and Busta Rhymes on the phone. "What time is it there? You know what though," he consoles his fans, "nobody answers their phones really. We'll call em back." Just Blaze actually answers, but Jay hangs up on him when he gets a call waitin from Busta Rhymes. "Yo Buss, you gotta problem: I'm drunk and I'm on UStream." After a pause, "hold on, hold on, hold on, don't hang up." The phone list continues: Joe Budden (who answers from the club), Curren$y (who answers and shoots the shit for a little while about Center Edge Territory - the Mos Def, Curren$y, Jay Electronica trio), Diddy again (he answers this time and says "Hey yo Jay...what kinda wallpaper you got back there? You in a damn hostel?" Jay laughs and says "I know you ain't talking about that with all those shiny ass suits you used to wear! How come Diddy is the only one in 2010 with a s-curl??"), Hexmurda (he didn't answer, but he sent a text back that just said "No.").

Though he might sound like any random college kid with a few beers and a phone at the moment, Jay Electronica proves himself to be one of the realest entertainers most of us will ever have the chance to encounter (or view via webcam). Amidst his calls to his celebrity friends, Jay also gives out his address and the location of his favorite regular lunch spot. "Come see me. We get the mac 'n cheese." He adds, however, to the minority of people typing negative comments on the chat, "I will be in every city, every slum, every suburb. If you wanna say something, tell me to my face or else shut the fuck up. Don't do this shit on UStream. Don't do this shit on Twitter. Be honest." After that, he returns to dedicating songs to different fans leaving comments online.

How many rappers attempt to threaten haters via the internet? Countless. How many do it and then invite them out to lunch to talk things over? None to my knowledge until now. While Jay probably isn't the newest "hip-hop savior" as many have deemed him, he is a breath of fresh air. He's more honest than fans might want or expect at times, but at least we know we can expect respect... and the occasional bout of drunken antics.

When he signs off for the night around midnight Central Time, he leaves his fans with one message: "Good talking with y'all. Make sure you treat every human being you come into contact with the same way you want to be treated yourself. Good night."




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