Jay Electronica is a rapper and producer, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jay started rapping at ten years old, inspired by the likes of LL Cool J and his uncle. He also played in the band at St. Augustine High School. After attending college for one semester, he dropped out and began working at a café in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
In 1996, he left behind his life in New Orleans in order to seriously pursue a rap career in New York. This led to him participating in the hip-hop scenes of New York, Denver, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Washington D.C., and Atlanta in a nomadic fashion. It was in Detroit that he experienced a turning point in his career. There, he met producer Mike “Chav” Chavarria, who introduced him to producers J. Dilla and Mr. Porter. Jay would use Dilla’s beats for his future Style Wars EP, released in 2007.
However, Jay Electronica first gained a substantial spotlight in the hip-hop community with the release of his mixtape, Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), which he released on MySpace in the same year. Outlets such as hiphopdx.com and the L.A. Times commented on his skill and eccentricity.
In 2009, Jay partnered with Decon to create The Dogon Society, which released his first official singles, “Exhibit A (Transformations)” and “Exhibit C,” the latter of which peaked in the Top 10 of the iTunes Hip-Hop/R&B charts. In 2010, Jay Electronica signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and has released numerous songs with the imprint.
Jay Electronica has claimed that his Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn) mixtape is complete, but has yet to release it. Overall, Jay has roughly 50 songs scattered throughout the internet, including collaborations and features.
Jay has one child, Mars Merkaba Thedford, he shares with Erykah Badu.