Not many people can say they discovered Kendrick before Kendrick or Pusha T before Pusha T or J. Cole before J. Cole. Sometimes, we as music listeners get so caught up in the mainstream sound coming out from the big labels that we don’t see who is on their way up. Every once in a while I like to dive deep into the unknowns of the rap world, seeing who might be next up to bat. My latest discovery is Jayy Grams. I can’t even remember how I came across the 18-year-old out of North Baltimore last year, but his album Grime & Basslinez has yet to leave my rotation ever since.
First things first…this kid can spit. The creativity, rhyming schemes, and references in his verses are often not seen in young rappers these days. The first verse of “WuFi” throws shots left and right but he keeps it tight and fluid.
“Round these up and yo we surely infiltrating the spot
They saying damn Jayy’s cold beating drake to the top
Some tape for Lamar determined to show all you cats what’s goody
I came with 7 verses while you target shop for hoodies
I’m hardly out in philly screaming free Meek Milly”
Grams seems to mix the old school flows of hip-hop from the 90s into a street bully sound. In “Pigs Theory” and “Menace” you can almost hear his anger spilling out in the words he spits. While the tracks on the back half of the album have a more traditional style with hooks and verses, “G&B” and “Pigs Theory” have a more freestyle feel to them. While it doesn’t take away from his sound or vocals, it does make the flow of the album feel a bit off. Grams finishes off the project with his middle finger aimed right at the current trend of the rap industry, with the first line shot right at them: “Ayo f@&k a mumble rapper on God.” He doesn’t try to hide how he feels…that is for sure.
The whole album is bass heavy, as the title might suggest. Grams also released an EP in 2017 titled Good Times, which definitely had a more subdued old school vibe with its beats compared to the mean sounding Grime & Basslinez. “Oh Sh*t” literally opens up with the sounds of a war zone and goes into a beat that seems like it would fit perfectly on Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde. Grams also begins his first verse for “Menace” with such a clean bass drop into a beat filled with synths, snares, basses, and a brass sample. While Grams throws shade at the “Lil movement”, he spits on a very old school Tedd Boyd beat that works perfectly, considering the subject matter.
Unfortunately, Jayy Grams only blessed us listeners with about 20 minutes of music. While he may consider that an album, to me its an EP at best; just a sample of what he can do. Everything seems to be mixed well together and nothing sounds unpleasant. Yet, while the style stays consistent, the transitions don’t cleanly pull it altogether for me. With such a short album, his production team may not have had time to make it flow as fluid as it could have.
“Pigs Theory”, “WuFi”, “Oh Sh*t”, and “Rap Robbery”
My gut is telling me that this kid is gonna blow up. I don’t know when or how but I really feel that he will. It’s not often that we see a lyrical talent like this come up. Anyone who can reference Magellan and Mr. Bookman from Seinfeld in the same freestyle has a special set of skills. With that said, lyrically Jayy Grams killed it on Grime & Basslinez which gets a:
Make sure you watch this 18-year-old out of Baltimore as he takes on the current crop of young rappers, bringing his old school street sound to the table.