As hip-hop continues expanding across the globe, it has moved away from its birthplace: the streets. Lyrical
visionary Jayo Felony has seen this shift and with his eagerly anticipated fourth album, the San Diego rap legend returns rap to the streets.
"I'm talking about being in the hood," Jayo explains of his new album. "I'm giving it up for the real ones and representing where they're from. There's trenches and hoods all across the world, so it's something that everybody can relate to and get into. It's about the trenches that you represent and I'm letting you know what trenches I represent."
With innovative bone-crushing production from Mobb Deep..I'm real happy about the new album. I've got a lot of hot records on this one album. You ain't going to have to fast-forward or none of that. It's an all-the-way-through type of album."
Jayo Felony has been building up to the masterful artistry he achieves on this album for his entire career. Signed by the late Jam Master Jay to his JMJ Records (which had a deal with industry powerhouse Def Jam), Jayo landed spots on the critically acclaimedJason's Lyric soundtrack in 1994 and on the platinum-plus The Show soundtrack less than a year later. Not bad for an artist without his own album.
Jayo's first two albums, 1995's "Take A Ride" and 1998's "Whatcha Gonna Do," became West Coast favorites and his smash "Whatcha Gonna Do" single also featured Jayo's Def Jam labelmates DMX and Method Man. As an in-demand guest, Jayo appeared on albums from LL Cool J, Scarface, Ja Rule, Above The Law, E-40 and Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz. After falling out with Def Jam, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, Jayo went the independent route and in 2001 released Crip Hop. He wanted to get things off his chest and keep his name in the marketplace. The album sold more than 40,000 units, impressive numbers for an independent release. "Since then, I've just been out here hustling, doing my thing, getting on people's projects, making it happen, working and staying in the studio making new music," he says. "I never stopped working and making new music. I was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along, not rushing into nothing knowing that my lyrics weren't going anywhere and that I was just going to get better and better as I study and practice. I knew I was going to get better with my craft. It was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along where people weren't scared to deal with me and thinking I'm some hot head that just disses everybody, which ain't true. I feel anybody I dissed, I had reason and logic to it. Everybody else can say otherwise, but I know the truth. I was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along and I feel it has."
"I've got a mission to prove myself to the people about how talented I really am," Jayo says. "Not just about music, but with the movies I'm about to start doing and the business things I'm putting together. I will prove that I'm one of the best rappers that ever lived. I know for a fact that before it's all said and done, I will be up in the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame as one of the best. Period."