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Jay Electronica Says LL Cool J Inspired Him to ‘Heal’

im Mosenfelder, Getty Images

When Jay Electronica spit rhymes like “N—- I was homeless/ Fightin’, shootin’ dice, smokin weed on the corners/ Tryna find the meaning of life in a Corona” on the lauded track ‘Exhibit C,’ listeners felt the pain of his past ills. They quickly propelled the track to the Top 10 of the iTunes Hip-Hop chart when it was released in 2009. But for Jay Elect, his storytelling is meant to benefit others more so than entertain.

“Jay Electronica is the super hero, man,” he says in an interview on ‘Last Call with Carson Daly.’ “He’s the healer. He even helps to heal me. Through my music, I help to heal myself.”

These days, many rappers’ rhymes are pompous, filled with descriptions of endless wealth and access to voluptuous women. When it comes to his work, Jay’s lyrics are replete with sentiment and revelations. “I’m very honest in my music, you know what I’m saying, like in terms of my feelings,” he shares. “That’s not a common thing in rap. It’s more ego-driven. You know, I get arrogant, I got those kind of rhymes and sh-too. This is like my journal. It’s almost like therapy for me, you know what I’m saying, and I use it like that.”

Perhaps it was listening to one Kangol-wearing rapper spit lyrics like “I need love,” that inspired him to create his own candid material. “You know when you’re a kid and you see somebody and you say, ‘That’s me!’” Jay continues. “The first time I had that feeling was when I heard LL Cool J on the radio. At first I was just reciting other lyrics like you know, Rakim, LL, whoever I was listening to, but then I started writing my own stuff.”

Check out Jay’s entire interview below.

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