“On the same streets that killed Dr. King/I put my life on these tracks, so there’s no way that you could kill my dreams,” Jai Musiq spits on “I Might Need Security,” a song that doubles as the closer to his most recent EP and a cover of the original Chance the Rapper track.
Jai Musiq, straight out of Memphis, Tennessee, is a young, dynamic rapper that definitely deserves to be on your radar. After a listen through his blossoming discography, it is clear that he gets better with time. On his most recent release, Project Is Done, Jai Musiq offers up a collection of songs that may be small, but they pack a mighty punch. Jai rips through crisp beats on the other two Project Is Done tracks, “Respect” and “Hot Summer.” His unique sense of cadence truly elevates him; he finds the pockets in each beat with astounding ease. “I’ve been making music my whole life, to be honest. I was in children’s choir in church, then did band in middle school. Moved up to high school and did band and choir and was All-State in both, so music has always been in me.” said Jai. The young rapper’s natural ability is clear throughout the EP and the rest of his discography; his rapid growth in just a few years is also impressive.
Jai raps and sometimes sings, with a surprisingly mature tone. His voice is a mixture of Drake, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, and of course, himself. Coincidentally, he names those three artists as his “biggest influences.” He also names Cudi and Cole as some of his “dream collaborators” and wishes from a Drake feature because he knows “what the Drake stimulus package can do for a career.” On Project Is Done, “I Might Need Security” is the obvious standout. Jai shared that “the Chance cover was inspired by my boy, Nick. He saw me listening to the song on my IG story and asked was I going to rap over the beat. I loved the beat, so I told him that since he suggested it, I would do it. So I did.” He added, “no it wasn’t a freestyle. I’m horrible at freestyling in my opinion, but I’m working on it!”
Jai is definitely talented enough to be signed to a label, but in the age of uniquely-structured deals like SZA or the completely indie/streaming route like Chance the Rapper, he might not need one. On the subject, Jai noted, “I’m a person that believes everything will work how it’s supposed to, so if the right label with the right situation and the right contract comes, then I’ll make that move.” Project Is Done leaves you wanting more, it’s a short three-song collection; if it feels like a prelude, that’s because it is. “This EP was to announce that I just finished my upcoming project,” said Jai. “I wouldn’t call it an album, but it’ll be about the same length as your average album… I’m still getting marketing together because I want to make sure that this music reaches as many people as possible in the right way,” he added.
You can find Project Is Done here and stay tuned for the next installment in my New Artist Spotlight series.