Album Review: Follow Me Home by Jay Rock

Posted: July 25, 2011 by eptarheels23 in Album Review, Music
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Black Hippy member, Jay Rock is ready to release his debut album, Follow Me Home, July 26th after numerous delays. The Watts rapper is signed to the two most successful independent labels, Top Dawg and Strange Music. As I stated above, Jay is a member of the west coast collective known as Black Hippy, also containing rappers Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q. They are my favorite group in the game today (sorry Slaughterhouse), however I think think Jay Rock is the weakest link in the group by far. He is just too “hood” or “street” for my liking. I feel like they should switch out Jay Rock for Dom Kennedy or H.O.P.E. or Fashawn, but that’s an argument for a different day. Well how did Jay Rock’s debut stack up with other releases from Black Hippy? Check out the review of Follow Me Home below!

1: Intro
If you don’t think Jay Rock is all about the streets just listen to this intro and you’ll find out. The intro basically just illustrates a drive-by and an interview from a reporter. Nothing special about this.

2: Code Red 5/5
This is classic Jay Rock. Over a beat that knocks Jay Rock uses his gritty voice to illustrate what his life is like in the ghetto (a common theme throughout the album). Despite his name not being mentioned, I think that’s Kendrick Lamar on the chorus. He does a good job with dropping an almost eerie hook, it makes the track a street anthem. This is a great start to the album from Jay Rock.

3: Bout That 3/5
The beat is once again pretty good (and you’ll see that’s a common throughout the album), but I’m just not a fan of what’s going on in this track. This is another banger and is meant to be eaten up by the streets. Which it probably will be but overall I feel like this ended up being an album filler.

4: No Joke (feat. Ab-Soul) 5/5
The beat on this is filled with piano keys and synth-drum kicks which make for a nasty beat. Jay Rock recruits fellow Black Hippy member Ab-Soul to lay down the hook and without a doubt it is the best part of the entire song. Ab uses his crazy flow on the chorus and Jay has that gritty-tough sound which makes for an standout track.

5: Hood Gone Love It (feat. Kendrick Lamar) 4.5/5
Call this the theme track to the entire album and Jay Rock’s motto when it comes to making music. “You don’t gotta like it, cause the hood gone love it.” This more of an uptempo track, fast passed record but it’s still meant for the streets. Kendrick drops a monster verse and without it I would have probably rated this track a 3.5 or 4. I’m just not feeling the overall vibe, but I’ll have that Kendrick verse on repeat for a while.

6: Westside (feat. Chris Brown) 5/5
Every album needs that one track that will be a radio hit, this is said track. Jay Rock gets pop star Chris Brown to hop on the hook and he lays it down perfectly. This is a completely new lane for Jay and totally different from the previous four track all meant for the streets. The beat is tailored to Chris Brown’s strong suit and he feels at home. The surprising thing is that Jay actually does pretty well throughout the record. I could actually see this one getting some plays on the radio and making a name for the Watts representative.

7: Elbows 4.5/5
The beat on this is downright creepy and will make you want to check your back. It bangs with some serious drum kicks and makes the track good overall. Expect the same lyrics from Jay though: guns, girls, the hood, drugs, sex, ect. One more thing though, is that you again Kendrick on the chorus? Jay really needs to just say they are featured on the track. Back to Kendrick, he drops a little bit on the hook and adds to the overall value. All in all, this is actually a pretty good track from Jay.

8: Boomerang 3.5/5
This track leaked a while back, but I never knew it was going to be on Follow Me Home. At first I hated it, but it has grown on me a little. The lyrics are once again the same old, same old, except more centered towards girls. Another album filler in my opinion.

9: All I Know Is 3/5
This beat is crazy. The piano stands out among all the sounds composed of synth and drum kicks. But I don’t know how much longer I can take Jay Rock’s “hood talk”. The chorus is just “all i know is guns, drugs, b*****s, money” repeated four times. I think we get the point Jay, you’re from the hood and lived a tough life. But I think you’re taking it a little too far.

10: I’m Thuggin’ 3/5
I don’t think he got what I said in the previous song. This chorus is “b***h I’m thuggin, b***h I’m thuggin”. On a side note this is also one of my least favorite beats on the entire album. Bad beat + bad lyrics = terrible song. Not much else to be said here.

11: Kill or Be Killed (feat. Tech N9NE & Krizz Kaliko) 4.5/5
Finally! A true song not about b****s or money. Above I said Jay Rock was half signed to Strange Music, so you could call this the Strange Music collaboration on Follow Me Home. Jay gets his boss Tech N9NE and fellow Strange Music member Krizz Kaliko on the track. The beat is another almost creepy one with many drum kicks. Krizz’s hook doesn’t do it in my opinion, however Tech N9NE drops one of the best verse on all of Follow Me Home. He seems to change his flow every couple bars which equates to a killer verse.

12: Just Like Me (feat. J. Black) 4/5
One of the more slow paced tracks on Follow Me Home has Jay rapping over a jazzy beat that still knocks. I love his flow in his verses and his voice contrasts nicely with the beat. The producers for the final tracklisting haven’t been released yet, but I’m going to guess that this beat was done by one of the in-house producers from TDE, such as Sounwave, Willie B, Tae Beast or THC.

13: Say Wassup (feat. Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock)) 5/5
This is the TDE collaboration of Follow Me Home. One word: incredible. This is possibly one of my favorite tracks of the entire year, it’s just so damn good. This is what Black Hippy is capable of as a group. The first time I listened to this I was speechless. The order is: Ab on the chorus, then he drops a verse, hands the mic to Kendrick, Ab chorus, Q verse, Rock verse, Ab chorus, and then possibly the best verse of the whole year. They each take turns and switch off after a couple of lines each. It flows incredibly and sounds amazing. The one thing I have to state about this track is: why did this end up on Jay Rock’s album? Couldn’t this have been put on Section.80 or Longterm: Mentality or Setbacks. It would have taken Section.80 to an absolute classic album, no questions asked. Anyways, I can’t state enough how great this record is. You need to listen to this.

14: They Be On It 4/5
And Jay goes back to the tracks meant for the streets. This is same as the other eight tracks also meant to be eaten up by the streets. Once again though, Kendrick goes uncredited on the chorus. However I don’t like his hook. It just doesn’t seem like it was meant for him. Yeah I know, I just criticized Kendrick Lamar. Well there’s a first time for everything right?

15: M.O.N.E.Y. (feat. J. Black) 3/5
The second collaboration between J. Black and Jay Rock is a lot worse than the first. The beat is not the best, the hook sucks, and Rock’s verses seem uninspired. I don’t have much else to say other than skip this track.

16: Finest Hour (feat. Rick Ross & BJ The Chicago Kid) 4.5/5
The is a straight up smooth track. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League are behind the boards (frequent collaborators of Rick Ross) and Ricky Rozay feels right at home. Let me sidetrack for a second and say that these are the type of beats he need to rap over (like Live Fast, Die Young and Tears of Joy), not that B.M.F. and 600 Benz s**t he’s putting out. After that rant, let’s get back to the track. Frequent collaborator of Black Hippy, BJ The Chicago Kid lays down a smooth as hell hook. This is an excellent track overall.

17: Life’s a Gamble 3.5/5
One of the more calm, laid back beats on the album still knocks a little. Jay Rock flows well throughout the track, but the reason I gave this a 3.5 is because of the hook. It just sucks in my mind and takes it down a level. With all that being said though, this is a solid listen.

18: All My Life (In the Ghetto) [feat. Lil Wayne &] 4.5/5
The first official single from Follow Me Home was released all the way back in 2008 and had a lot of radio success out west. You almost have to with guest appearances from Lil Wayne and Black Eyed Peas frontman, It is uptempo track and I realize it is “all my life in the ghetto” but this is totally different that the other tracks meant for the streets. This one is meant to make waves on the radio.

Well how did this stack up against the other Black Hippy releases, Section.80, Longterm: Mentality and Setbacks? It’s definitely worse than them, but I was actually impressed with Jay Rock’s debut album. While the lyrics might not be the best, the beats are the strong points throughout as they all bang. The lyrical content is nowhere near par of the other three Black Hippy members, but Jay Rock did have his moments. 2011 is gearing up to be the year of Black Hippy. All four members have released stellar albums this year, and I’m going say Section.80 comes in first followed by Longterm: Mentality, then Setbacks and lastly Follow Me Home. All we need now is a Black Hippy group album. That would solidify it as their year to take over hip-hop.

Download: Jay Rock – Follow Me Home

Sidenote: The track actually starts at the 1:47 mark. The beginning is just them fooling around. And the track ends at the 6:07 mark. The end is actually pretty funny, I would suggest watching it.

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  3. […] got it all. The last member of the group is Jay Rock. Now if you read my album review of his new LP Follow Me Home then you probably know how I feel about him. I’m just not a big fan of his style, he is too […]

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  5. […] Colors (feat. Lil Wayne & Kendrick Lamar) With the release of Jay Rock’s new album Follow Me Home and everything, I went back and listened to his old stuff. This is probably my favorite old Jay […]

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