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Track 1 -Intro: I envision a live show. A sold out audience. A big deal, marking the return of the artist featured on this project…. Instead, I hear the voice of someone else. I can’t tell who it is, but it’s not Jay Arroyo. I don’t understand the need for the audio. I would have recommended an instrumental for you to speak over, to get people excited about the project. Instead, we have a track that people will skip every time they come back to listen to the project.
Rating – N/A
Track 2 – No Exits: Smooth instrumental allowing Jay to really shine and get his thoughts off without the beat clashing with his delivery. He gets introspective and gives you some personal insight as to what’s been going on, and what’s been weighing heavily on his mind. This definitely should have been the intro. You can tell his growth as an artist has started a battle inside his conscience. It’s possible that “No Exits” is in reference to the feeling like he isn’t sure how to get off the path he’s on. And doesn’t know where he’s going.
“I’m trapped in my mind, I’m lost in it / if it ain’t about me, I ain’t puttin no thought in it/”
“Fear Life/ I try to live in the moment but none of this shit feel right/”
Rating – 7/10
Track 3 – Makes It Easier: I like the sample. Another very mellow instrumental allowing Arroyo to really carry the track, as an emcee would prefer. Jay is not cut from the cloth of the emcee who likes to hide behind over bearing instrumentals. He’d prefer you just focus on his message. So what is the message? Jay continues the very personal project by painting the picture of a failed relationship. Something we can all relate to. As the song continues, he dives deeper into the situation to give the audience more insight as to what went wrong. The trust issues we battle about, the wear and tear worthless arguments put us thru, and the eventual outcome of his situation.
“I work just to blow off steam / I confess, I really ain’t as depressed as I seem/”
Rating – 8/10
Track 4 – Simple and Plain: Dude… why the hell are you coming into this smooth instrumentals with abrasive ass rhymes? LMAO “Tell that ***** suck my **** til she get it right?” While I am not against the content, the time and place is WAY off. This song does not match the beat what so ever. I feel like the real Jay Arroyo doesn’t arrive until 1:25 and the dude rapping up until then was trying his hardest to appeal to the idiots lookin for bars disrespecting women.
“Ain’t a drug dealer or a street dude/ Ain’t as simple as the people that I see thru”
Rating – 5/10
Track 5 – Road of Regrets (interlude): I love the horns. Hate the singing. Would have preferred to have someone else singing this, or having someone singing in the background. Almost didn’t make it to the verse. No notable bars.
Rating : 3/10
Track 6 – Talkin to Myself: Loving the feel of the production on this project. No, the beats aren’t overwhelmingly amazing, but they’re letting the artists shine. For that reason, it’s hard for the listener to hate what they’re hearing. The sample here is clean. While there are quite a few quotables on this track, the lack of structure can probably lose the passive listener. I appreciate the title matching the layout of the song. Jay speaking to himself, going over random thoughts in his head, as one may do while sitting on the beach alone. I just don’t know how much replay value the song has as a whole.
LMAO @ the first “feature” being Breez coming on at the tail end of the song to let the masses know how long Jay has been rapping. I really thought we’d hear him spit something. Let down as a fan.
“Harsh realities, common sense/ Is tellin me the competition ain’t competent/”
Lyrically the best song thus far.
Rating : 7/10
Overall, the project was cohesive. Production lined up very well. Loved the sound and delivery. Bars were on point. I didn’t hear anything ridiculously stupid that made me shake my head which is definitely a positive. You can tell my age is severely effecting what I enjoy, because the language seemed completely unnecessary due to the vibe of the project. All of your messages could have come across even more effectively with a more extensive vocab and less swear words as poor substitutes.
I’ll definitely vibe out to this project a few more times.
Strengths : Delivery / Presence / Production / Entire project flows well and is cohesive.
Weaknesses : 2 tracks could be removed and nobody would miss them.
Twitter – @Jay_Arroyo