Today’s Song: “Money Trees Deuce” by Jay Rock

Out of all the members of the now infamous L.A. hip-hop group Black Hippy, gangsta rapper Jay Rock was the first to blow up. Long before Kendrick Lamar or Schoolboy Q were a blip on the radar screen of the mainstream rap world, Jay Rock made it into XXL magazine’s coveted freshman class in 2010 and released an excellent debut album, Follow me Home. (Watch the music video for “Hood Gone Love It” from Follow Me Home here).

Although he hasn’t released much solo material since Top Dawg Entertainment and Black Hippy rocketed to superstardom, Jay Rock has been consistently putting out dope guest verses on other rapper’s material.

One such verse was on Kendrick Lamar’s “Money Trees” from good kid, m.A.A.d city. Jay was the only member of Black Hippy besides Kendrick featured on the album, and his stellar guest verse earned him a lot of attention and acclaim.

Now Jay Rock has released his own sequel to “Money Trees”, “Money Trees Deuce“. The sequel features much more somber, jazzy instrumentation than the bassy, radio-ready original, and it finds Jay Rock rapping passionately about money and the problems that go along with pursuing it.

This track works on all levels and is easily one of my favorite singles of the year. There’s sincerity in Jay Rock’s rapping and sincerity in the instrumental, and a sense of urgency that pervades the track. It’s clear that Jay is trying to go a lot more ambitious with his music, utilizing the large budget and platform he has through Top Dawg. He’s already dropped another dope single, “Pay For It” featuring Kendrick Lamar, earlier this year, and when this new track dropped, my anticipation for his next album skyrocketed.

However, Jay Rock hasn’t even announced a new album yet, so while you wait for it to come out you can just listen to “Money Trees Deuce” over and over again like I am.

 

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Greg Nachmanovitch is a former Atwood Magazine contributor.