Coming off the back of his critically acclaimed album Redemption and, more recently, a Grammy win for Best Rap Performance with ‘King’s Dead’, Jay Rock is bringing the celebrations down under (finally) with his debut Australian tour.
Jay Rock’s had a seat at the TDE table since the beginning but after years of flying just below the mainstream radar, surfacing occasionally with an underground classic or a Kendrick collaboration, wider audiences are finally seeing Jay Rock deliver on his potential as one of the most exciting voices in hip hop. With Redemption, Jay Rock pulls away from street survival with the ambition and clarity of an artist seeking absolution through music. Check out our conversation with the TDE rapper below.
Oh, man, it was the quickest flight I’ve ever been on. My homie was telling me it was gonna take 12 hours, wait no, 16 hours. Like, “What you gonna do to stay up?” And look man, I closed my eyes and the next thing you know I opened them and we were already here. That was the quickest flight I’ve ever been on.
Yeah I’ve been trying to get over here forever. Actually, one of my family members used to be in the Navy and stuff, so he was always based over here. And when he used to come back and just tell me how beautiful and how dope Australia was, he made me want to come. So, I’m just happy to be here, man, and I’m just looking forward to playing my shows and seeing some things, you know?
Ah, man. What has changed? I’m over here in Australia! You get what I’m saying? You know, ain’t nothing really changed, man, I’m still Jay Rock. I’m always trying to work on my craft and be better at what I do musically. So, I’d say that’s the part that’s changed, just the growth in my music.
Man, I’m still speechless. When I got up there and accepted my award, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t think I was gonna win. But shout out to all my fans that have been rooting for me and have been down with me since day one, man. This one’s for them. It’s still surreal to me. I still can’t believe it.
It was kind of the same, how I approached it. I just told myself, like, “Man, I just gotta do something outside the box. Let me do something kind of catchy you know?” And that’s how it came out. You get what I’m saying? And when I heard Future’s verse, I was just like, “Ah, this is a hit, man. This is outta here.”
The concept of Redemption is basically just me. I kind of feel like God gave me a second chance to do music. And for those who don’t know, I was in a cold little bike accident. You know, I just went through a major setback. It was in the midst of dropping my album, 90059. I was supposed to go on tour, I had a lot of things lined up. I was supposed to be at the Grammy’s that day. It was just a whole lot of things going on and I just went through a cold set back. I did a lot of thinking while I was hurt, and once I healed up, my whole mindset was, “I wanna do something. I gotta come back for the fans that have been waiting, that are waiting on me, to see me, that are waiting to hear my music,” and I gave them this. This is my redemption. And it’s just crazy. I was supposed to be at the Grammy’s and three years later, I won a Grammy. That’s crazy.
Actually, when I did those records, it was kind of like a process as far as clearances and things of that nature go. Yeah, so that’s pretty much why I couldn’t get the songs on the album in time. I mean, if you know the music industry, then you know how clearances go, especially with other artists, too. So, once the album’s up and then once you got the clearances and everything done, that’s why we added the songs on there. You know what I’m saying?
Oh yeah. No more tracks. That’s a wrap.
We’re a family, man. We been doing it together for years. It’s nothing but good vibes, good energy. It’s comfortable together, creating. So it’s all good energy.
Oh, man, you know Black Hippy? Man, I gotta tell people all the time, “Y’all want some Black Hippy? You gotta get Top [Dawg Entertainment] on the phone,” and when I say that, people think that I’m joking. But I’m really serious. If people take the time out to hit Top and get Top on the phone and tell them, hit the page and say, “Man, we want a Black Hippy album,” It might happen. Nobody making no noise. You gotta make the noise.
Oh, if I was getting a shoe collaboration? Hey, man, for sure it’s gotta be Nike, man. Who don’t like Nike? And for sure, for sure, it’s gotta be some Jordans. Tell Michael Jordan, “What’s up man. I got a cold idea for the East Side Johnny shoes.” You know what I’m saying?
Ah, man, you know, some of them critically acclaimed movies or something. Some high-scoring, award-winning movies like a Denzel movie or something. You get what I’m saying? But yeah, man, wherever the opportunity leads, where my music can touch people. I’m all for it. I’m not picky or, “I gotta have this or I’ve gotta have that,” you know, if it’s right, let’s do it. Like I say, there’s all those platform and I appreciate them playing my music. There’s love.
Just lots of energy. Like I tell everybody, man, I came out to have a good time so I just hope the people wanna do the same. I’m looking forward to it. This is my first time here, so you know, I’m just looking forward to having a good time and tearing the place down. That’s it.
The Big Redemption Tour is kicking off in Brisbane tonight with Sydney and Melbourne performances over the coming days and, as an added bonus, local favourite B Wise will be in support of all three shows. Limited tickets are still available via the link. Get em while they’re hot.