jaykae where have you been

Jaykae delivers a serious dose of real rap on ‘Where Have You Been?’

Jaykae has served up an abundance of real rap on his Where Have You Been? album. The eight-track project includes the internationally-recognised ‘Toothache’, thanks to its cameo in hit TV series Power, as well as ‘Moscow’, his latest straight-talking, flute-infused anthem, with four features – Murkage, Tiga, YASeeN RosaY and S-X.

Where Have You Been? boasts a tidy range of flows throughout but across each beat, that sense of real rap that we’ve come to know him for is never lost.

‘Pull Up’ is an early dose of intense grime bars that digest as a compilation of reload-worthy bars that could light up a radio set. ‘Knock Door Run’ is a nostalgic throwback to Jaykae’s youth best defined by these two bars: ‘yeah I grew up on knock door run/ growing up was a lot more fun, yeah you better be on the ball, are you dumb/ because now when I knock ya door I won’t run’.

The Skepta-produced ‘Every Country’ offers a relaxed garage beat that leaves the field open for Jaykae to spray a range of ambitious and statement-filled bars, with an easily digestible from Murkage Dave. ‘Let Me Go’ is another slower track with an RnB edge to it, but one that showcases Jaykae’s ability to spray on different tempo’s without comprising his sound.

Jaykae - Moscow (Music Video) - Prod. Bowzer Boss

There’s no meeting in the middle on Where Have You Been?, it’s Jaykae taking to different sounds with ease and doing so with a sense of coherency.

‘Anymore’ sees S-X offer a high-pitched vocals but catchy and dark hook about losing a sense of knowing who you are, with crisp wordplay from Jaykae with bars like ‘I got eights for days I don’t pay for a draw/ I win and they know the score’ and ‘long time I aint seen you in never/ and I hope it stays that way/ never lost sleep I got paid that day/ just remember if you get through, rudeboy it was me that paved that way’.

‘Toothache’, the headline track, marks a bold end to the album, and when all is said and done, it’s very clear that Jaykae is an abundant provider of straight-talking, no-nonsense music. The project’s title would suggest you’d need to look somewhere or ask someone to find out what the Birmingham MC had been up to before this. Where Have You Been? offers a strong platform to answer that question by itself from hereon out.

Jaykae’s been around for a while, but 2017 has been a particularly strong year for Small Heath’s very own. Don’t sleep on him in 2018.

Listen to Where Have You Been here: