“Can’t buy backbone, no wholesale.”
– Jay Ax
Originally from Brooklyn, and currently residing in Staten Island, rapper Jay Ax is a magnetic emcee that exudes confidence – and has the skills to back it up. Over the years, Jay Ax has developed a deep music catalog comprised of 5 mixtapes, which have sold over 12,000 copies. Not that many artists these days can claim that. He’s also shared stages with industry royalty like T-Pain, Wyclef Jean, Khia, Keith Murray, Jae Millz and others. His latest offering is a twenty song banger of a project entitled Don’t Ax Don’t Tell. It’s a solid offering that has three distinct vibes – trap/street, radio, and soulful. Over the course of the project, which may seem a bit daunting at first based on the length, Jay rides and excels the current trends and sounds that dominate the New York scene, but also gives brief glimpses into his character and personality. Please keep in mind, I’m approaching this project as a first-time listener.
Songs like the radio friendly Match My Fly, featuring Brodie Jaymz and Bianca Bonnie, and Bank On Fleek show off Jay’s commercial appeal, and ability to craft joints that are timely and relevant to the current market; however, his more shining moments appear when he steps out of his lane slightly. The album’s opener Commencement, for example, is a slow, soulful production that features his nephew, Fortune. This flow/vibe – and even subject matter – doesn’t pop up again until later in the project. He gets more personal, and delves below the surface, on tracks like Barz, and the ultra hype Giant. On the later he drops lines like: “rebel born a pebble, now I wanna be a boulder.”
Must-listens have to be the album closer, Curtain Call, which is a letter to a fallen comrade, and the anthemic New York Gritty, featuring the Brooklyn bully – and former Roc Nation soldier – Uncle Murda. As well, Jay speaks on discriminatory law practices, and the overall degradation of the relationships between police and citizens in urban areas on the songs They and These Laws Ain’t Right.
Jay Ax’s music has a sonic confidence that comes along with both longevity and dedication. Based on his past sales, and the plays on his various profiles, his fans are eating it up. Rightfully so; this time around, he’s cooked up a hardy (long play) feast for your rides and music playing devices. Jay Ax displays – on wax – why he was considered among the best male performers at the Underground Music Awards in NYC in 2014, and why he’s ready to take his career to the next level.