Jay Ant-Blue Money Mixtape Review
Blue Money is the coolest mixtape I’ve heard in a long time, cooler than the new curren$y mixtape(New Jet City) and that’s hard to do. Its all due to Jay Ant who exercises complete control whether its singing a half laughed version of R. Kelly’s You Remind Me of My Jeep, producing almost all of the 16 track mixtape (with help from The Invasion IAMSU! and others), or maintaining that stone cold, leveled off flow. The cumulative effect is that feeling you get when you go to buy a new air conditioner and feel the change from your hot musty domain to the perfectly engineered chill air of the department store.
The obvious negative point to make with Blue Money would be a lack of lyrical heavy lifting. In response I would just turn up the beat to Online and listen to it crash like dinosaurs late for the tip off of a playoff game. Blue Money is the best produced mixtape so far this year, hands down. While Jay Ant isn’t dropping Can-I-Bus level complexity he has a durable flow and manages to always play to his strengths. He pushes his voice to sing when it helps but doesn’t push it too far. The things he does say all abide by a Lebowski-like code “I’ma tell you what it is, never what it was ho (World Level Three),” a lot of these tracks are about girls, being in the moment and having fun.
The sonic world of rap seems currently torn between Trap and Ratchet. Pressure seems to drive everyone to jump into one camp or the other. Wiz went Ratchet for Cabin Fever 2, Juelz Santana and Pusha T clearly moved towards Trap on their latest efforts. Jay Ant has always been a fantastic producer but this time he found a free space in hip hop away from all these sounds that no one was using. It’s more up-tempo than Sounwave or Tae Beast(the TDE crew) but not anywhere near the sharp breakneck slap of the work Problem or IAMSU! do with the League of Starz.
Being a great MC is about creating an environment for great music, so you get credit for the great beat, because you picked it (or in this case helped make most of them). You get credit for the catchy chorus and for not screwing up the pace of the song with your flow. Even if you make the case that Blue Money is about style, it’s got more style than I could have ever imagined.
In a hip hop landscape full of yelling and jarring ad-libs the kind of complete calm authority Jay Ant exercises over tracks like Smoothe where the finger snaps lay casually over the synthetic undulation of a beat is more than commendable; Its great art. I have to consciously stop myself from over-listening to Blue Money because I could easily play it all the way through over and over until my wife stages an intervention. It’s addicting mood music. I love that Jay Ant figured out how to do something completely different. The samples don’t stick out with jagged edges they are woven into a tapestry. The determination to steer his music in the right direction is still there in the chorus to the last track Dreams_Promises and almost every verse before that. It’s about not letting anyone get you off track, not letting anyone pull away your focus and certainly about having fun in the process. When he says “Cool N’s do Cool things” on Cool Things he’s dead serious. It becomes a mantra, not just for him, see if your day doesn’t run smoother when listening to Blue Money…that’s not a coincidence.
Stream or download Blue Money below: