Life is a lot like chess: it was invented in India in the 6th Century A.D., it takes place on an eight-by-eight grid, and I can never seem to remember how all the pieces move. OK, OK, so my analogical reasoning might be a little rusty. For an alternate take, we turn to Jay Rock, whose latest promo single, Checkmate, sees him using the simile to illustrate the vital importance of careful planning and step-by-step action for those seeking to survive and thrive in the urban jungle. The Futuristiks set an appropriately gritty yet contemplative mood behind the boards, layering organ loops and bell flourishes over a leisurely percussion rhythm as the freestyle series alumnus tutors listeners on the delicate art of the hustle. Drawing on his own many years of experience in the streets, he advises those pursuing illicit paper to avoid recklessness in word as well as deed: “Phones tapped like leaky facets, so faulty / Your speech can be so costly; tread softly.” This joint isn’t attached to a larger project, but those digging it can find more dope beats and lyrical wisdom on debut set Follow Me Home, released last year via Jay’s former label home, Strange Music (Rock recently moved, along with his entire TDE stable, to Interscope.)
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Lift Me Up" (2007)
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