20 of the Best Lyrics From Jay Rock’s ‘Redemption’ Album
Jay Rock isn't always mentioned in the same breath as hip-hop's most potent street lyricists, but longtime Top Dawg Entertainment fans know that he should be. The 33-year-old Watts, Calif. MC's latest argument for placement in street rap's elite comes in the form of Redemption, an emotional, 13-track album that marks his first project since surviving a horrific motorcycle accident over two years ago.
With his combination of sincerity and a penchant for vivid storytelling, Jay Rock's Redemption carries with it some of the most immersive street tunes you'll hear all year. It also includes a steady stream of his underrated technical skills (see: the SZA-featured title track or lead single "King's Dead" with Future and Kendrick Lamar).
Using a voice TDE artists compare to a grizzly bear, Jay Rock takes you through the war zone that is his Watts neighborhood—and the ethos that defines it. Exhibit A arrives on "ES Tales," a track that finds the rapper letting listeners know exactly what it is.
"Look, I'm deep inside the projects, where it's bracking at? You know the zip/Where we take a quarter piece, flip it, till the corner lit/A-1 yola, that fresh over-the-border shit/Shootouts and abortions, situations so unfortunate," raps Jay Rock, taking listeners through a crash course on life in the projects within just a few bars.
Jay Rock's latest LP, which is a follow up to his 2015 effort 90059, is loaded with emotional storytelling and impressive bits of verbal acrobatics. XXL takes an extended look at the rapper's best examples of grown-man bars.
"I'd rather rob than get a job, don't insult me/Remember it was nicks and dimes in '03/I was doing bad so I took your bag/Tables turned, lessons learned, karma come back fast" —Jay Rock
"Magic in a dope spot, four chickens, that's Popeyes/More spinach, that's Popeye/Four women sippin' Mai Tais/I'm a cold nigga, free my guys/Free PI/Free Puta May/Free shooter Ray/From the foul line/We gon' get money or die trying"—Jay Rock
"Got the streets and these beats right in front of me/Should I kill this nigga or should I let him slide?/If I don't, he double back, we got family ties?/If I do, I can't rap, and that's suicide" —Jay Rock
"I don't trust nobody/But my daughter and my shotty/If it blasts, that's a bag, if he leave, porta potty/Two-door seats, you know me, windows tinted, so the law don't see" —Jay Rock
"Look, I'm deep inside the projects, where it's bracking at? You know the zip/Where we take a quarter piece, flip it, till the corner lit/A-1 yola, that fresh over the border shit/Shootouts and abortions, situations so unfortunate" —Jay Rock
"So we in the hood, lituations look grim/One-time circling for colors of your skin/Black Lives Matter out here, no way/Cops get promotions while the family gotta pray" —Jay Rock
"112th Street, dude, slime, tell a friend/Parking lots, dope spots, hard rock, I'ma get/Duke it out and shoot it out, fuck a opp, who was him?/Pack him out, I stall him out, we need to find out where he live/GTA, 211s, double dutching, Mack-11s/Section 8, welfare, EBTs on the dresser" —Jay Rock
"How you feel? I might be too raw for you, too real/I know you homegirl wanna pop pills/Ducked off in them Hollywood Hills/I be on bullshit, we be on bullshit/Pull up on me one time, know you ain't doing shit" —Jay Rock
"Lil Wayne on my single now/Fucking hoes like I'm single now/Triggers close to my fingers now/But when the label frozed up, they all chosed up" —Jay Rock
"La di da di da, slob on me knob/Pass me some syrup, fuck me in the car/La di da di da, muthafuck the law/Chitty chitty bang, murder everything" —Future
"Day ones in the sandbox, from breakin' through the padlocks/To burners in the stashbox, your whole hood mascots/My whole hood mad Watts/That's gang, gang, gang/We politic, on missions, don't hang, hang, hang" —Jay Rock
"The damage is done, but who's to blame?/Finger pointing, naming names/Nobody willing to pay that full admission to ride the gravy train/Death is a part of life, happens daily, gotta face the pain/I be limping through it with lacerations, both my ankles sprained" —Jay Rock
"Black on black/My coupe ain't strap/I ain't ballin' on these hard tops/I told y'all to call Top/Now my number, 'call blocked'/I don't miss, I call shot" —Kendrick Lamar
"Cap on, and I got racks on/Don't be bitter, your dope they reconsider, that shit be stepped on/Eastside Johnny way out that project building then I get my rep on/Fuck your feeling, no question bitch, I kill it, I bring that check home" —Jay Rock
"I think 'bout if my motorcycle crash was fatal/Broken bones, internal bleeding, stretched on the table/Going through surgery, two machines helping me breathe/Sorry mama, I wanna stay but I gotta leave" —Jay Rock
"I see my funeral packed/I see some lying, some crying and some giving dap/I see false claimers, strangers and foes with their head in their laps I see more division/I see some of them showing up just to post a picture/Like they was my nigga, Instagram's a dead man's best friend" —Jay Rock
"If I had a second chance in life this what I'd do/I buy you flowers talk to you for hours, give you truth/I listen to you when you're hurt, I should've went to church with you/But my credentials didn't work, I still should've work with you" —Jay Rock
"Fuck niggas don't stay outside when I play outside/I put the beats on, I'm like Dre outside/I got the Bay outside, and L.A. outside/And if you act bad, I'll bring the K outside" —Jay Rock
"I'm all in the wind with it/On deuce line, I've been with it/She too fine, I been hit it/Crashed two times, I limo-tinted/My new ride, I'm riding with the toaster (toaster)/12 better not pull me over (over)" —Jay Rock
"And your diamonds like tap water (tap water)/That shit way too foggy/These VVS's way awesome/Parked CLS for baby mama" —Jay Rock