Jay gives electric performance at Voltage Lounge

Jay Electronica. Photo by Leon Laing.

Jay Electronica was nomadic at one time, living in New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Atlanta and Philadelphia. While he reminisced about living in the City of Brotherly Love, his concert at Philly’s Voltage Lounge became heartfelt.

At one point of the show, held on Feb. 24, the New Orleans native walked in the crowd and ran into one of his students. Electronica used to teach in Philly. His tour only included two other stops: Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass.

Electronica is one of the best emcees of all time — I’ll be glad to debate that. Like Nas’ Illmatic, Electronica’s music is replete with profound lyrics and impeccable productions. He raps about everything from his Five Percent Nation teachings to Star Wars references. His music samples everything from Transformers to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

The rapper, who wears a tattoo of the star and crescent Islamic symbol near his left ear, fathered one of Erykah Badu’s children.

During the concert in Philly, the unorthodox and enigmatic emcee gave a shout-out to his collaborator, the late Mac Miller. Like Electronica, Miller is a former Pennsylvania resident. The two artists collaborated on “Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes.” Electronica and super producer Just Blaze make magic together. The Just Blaze-produced “Exhibit C” and “Dear Moleskine” represent some of Electronica’s best work. The emcee performed both songs that night. “Just Begun” and “Dimethyltryptamine” were some of the other songs from his set.

Fans marveled at Electronica when he rapped acapella, giving emphasis on his though-provoking bars. Another highlight of the night was when he performed “Exhibit C” in the middle of a sea of fans. After the beat dropped, the concert reached a crescendo.

As-salamu alaykum.

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