Jay Pharoah first became internationally recognized when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” during its 36th season in 2010.
Jay became one of the breakout performers in the lineup. He is recognized for his incredible impressions of people such as Jay Z, Kanye West, Denzel Washington, Barack Obama, and more. However, while he has a gift for doing impressions of different rappers like Jay Z, Kanye, and Lil Wayne, Pharoah is a gifted rapper in his own right.
With his new EP, “Resurrection,” people may compare him to Childish Gambino because of the fact that he first made a name for himself in the comedy industry, and slowly made his way into the rap game. However, the only thing that these two guys have in common is their hard hitting, sick flow and their clever and funny verses. Jay Pharoah is his own person and talks about his own life in such a unique way. He unleashes his inner emcee in this album and proves that he is in a league of his own and that he is like nobody else out there. The album was created during the SNL summer hiatus.
The album begins with his song “The Resurrection” feat. Richard Pryor which right off the bat shows Jay’s natural ability to rap with an intense flow. With him doing an impression of Richard Pryor, it also addresses, in a way, how Jay is initially a comedian and sort of bridges the gap between his comedy lifestyle and his rap lifestyle. He uses his knowledge of comedy and pop culture to make his rhymes even more interesting as well as accessible such as his verse, “You’re like every scary movie, no Wayans.” This song sets the tone for the entire album by telling the listeners that this isn’t some Lonely Island album because he will address issues that are personal to him, but there will be some clever verses that will make you grin from satisfaction and amusement.
The next song on the album is “Talked to God” which starts off with him talking about how he talked to God and asked for forgiveness and saying how he doesn’t enjoy living the life he is living. What this song does well is show the different dimensions of Jay. His life doesn’t revolve around jokes and comedy. He has to deal with unpleasant things, too. Jay’s flow and the lyrics are out of control on this track. The beat on this song is sick. This song is really the first song that proves that Jay Pharoah belongs in the rap business and that he can talk about some serious, meaningful topics and therefore gives him a lot of depth as an artist.
“Far Away” is the next song on the EP. It starts off slowly, with the beat being a little mellow, and even somewhat calming. But then all of a sudden Jay starts going in, assaulting the listener with his rhymes and fast paced flow. This is another strong song where Jay talks about his life in a more serious way. “What’s App” comes next and is a change of pace where Pharoah goes to the less serious, more casual topic of hooking up with all these different girls around the world. This is a topic that every rapper in the game has talked about, so really, this song isn’t anything new. But what Jay does well with this record is he injects clever lyrics and rhymes into it. A highlight is “Come to Mardi Gras, meet me in the bayou. European chick, they all ask me did I buy you.”
“Pick Your Poison” feat. J Rod is another song that talks about a lust for women and alcohol. But when Jay raps, the way he constructs his lines and verses just makes you tap your foot and enjoy the rhythm and flow of the song. J Rod in this song played a big part in making this song somewhat catchy and helped not let this song get overshadowed by the ones in the beginning of the album. “Go Hard” comes up next and it’s just one of those songs that makes you appreciate Jay even more. This song is about Jay and his life before he became famous and all the things he had to do to achieve the level of success he has now. He talks about never giving up and to always going hard, hence the title. Hard work pays off. We get a better understanding of who Jay is. We feel like this song has hit potential and is one of our favorites on the EP.
The second to last song on this track is “Dreams” feat. Shaina Farrow (Jay’s sister who is also a talented artist in her own right). This song is about a person that Jay can’t stop thinking about, and is relatable to most people because everyone has had that someone, be it in a romantic way or not, that they can’t forget about. “Angel in Disguise” feat. J Rod is a hard hitting song because it really hits home emotionally for the listeners. This song talks about someone in Jay’s life that has passed, and how that person has been an inspiration for him throughout his entire career. The songs that talked about the deeper issues, were the better ones on this EP. “Angel” is a deep and emotional song and it is one of Jay’s finest.
Rap isn’t always about being hard and fierce, it is also about the emotionality of life and the struggles that people go through on an everyday basis, and Jay really picks up on that idea throughout his whole album. There is no emcee like Jay Pharoah out there, and with his amazing flow and witty verses, Jay Pharoah truly belongs in the rap business and is here to stay.
1. The Resurrection Intro. f. Richard Pryor
2. Talked to God
3. Far Away
4. What’s App (Foreign Chat)
5. Pick Your Poison f. J Rod
6. Go Hard (LiveWire)
7. Dreams f. Shaina Farrow
8. Angel in Disguise f. J Rod
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