I first discovered the full Tongan Cali grown, Utah living artist by the name of Jhay on Twitter back in April of this year. I came across his page with no real idea of who he was other than a local rapper.
In all honesty, I’m not one to sit and listen to new, unknown artists music at random. Most of it is trash in my opinion. Meaning they don’t have the knowledge or guidance to push their music properly, and then of course there’s a thing called TALENT. 8/10 of the random Sound Cloud links I click on, usually takes me about 20 seconds before I exit out. But, on this particular day, I decided to watch a video he had tweeted, pinned to his page. What really drew my attention was the amount of likes and re-tweets the video had. What was it about this song/video that had such a positive reaction on Twitter? Not to mention, all the positive comments.
“Converse with Queens and Goddesses of this earth…”
— Jhay (@alongcame_Jhay) August 22, 2016
The video was part of the #SoGoneChallenge that was circulating Social Media last year. “Converse with Queens and Goddesses of this earth…” The first few words of the 2:20 minute video had me so shook. Here’s a male rapper, verbally praising women and rapping about them in a positive light?…In 2017? In a hip-hop era of degrading women, normalizing the idea of the “side chick”, and endorsing rape culture, the first few lines of that freestyle were beyond eye opening to me. I mean, really? Who raps like that? I must have watched the video 10 times before I took the time to DM him and give props on his talents. Only to learn that the class, grace, and eloquence he carried on the MIC mirrored his actual personality.
Why Kendrick Lamar?
That was enough to have me intrigued. I started looking up other posts and videos just to see if the consistency and talent was there. No doubt I became an instant fan. But, what caught my attention most was the comments from all over the place, even Australia and New Zealand. The common comment I kept coming across was “Kendrick Lamar this; K.Dot that…” It was like on every post!
But what was it about Jhay that had people comparing him to one of the best rappers alive? Lyricism? Content? Message? Sound? Flow? In my opinion its a mixture of everything…[at times]. There’s definitely K.Dot influence in Jhay’s music. But to compare him completely would be placing him in a box. The raw talent Jhay possesses is nothing shy of superstar potential. You can hear so many different styles in his music. With his battle rap history, and love for R&B his sound is extremely unique. So much so, that hes drawn an organic audience easily on social media. He has an eclectic sound, with influences from every era of music.
Take a listen. If you like what you hear, support LOCAL hip-hop and share with your friends!
Had fun with this one…
21 Questions freestyle verse
If y’all rockin widdit help me spread the word.. Much luv 🙏🏽🙌🏽 pic.twitter.com/ct0Sfb09pt
— Jhay (@alongcame_Jhay) October 28, 2017
Turn Your Lights Down Low (Remix)
— Jhay (@alongcame_Jhay) July 3, 2017