You never know when or what Jay Electronica will do, it’s the unknown that aggravates and gives him a certain mystique. With every year that goes by without an album, we wonder what he's doing?
Well, he's been doing car commercials.
A video recently surfaced of Elec in collaboration with Toyota to advertise their new Avalon. The premise of the commercial is to collide music and art, which is done by covering two, booming speakers with paint and watch them vibrate and splash over a blank canvas. Jay is in the back, imitating the motions of rapping but no words are heard, only the beat plays as the images react on screen.
It’s a well shot, cool looking clip, directed by the fantastic Jason Goldwatch. Essentially an update from his 2010 commercial with Mountain Dew, the concept will look mighty familiar to those who know the Blue Man Group, a performance arts collective who formed in 1991 that is well known for their paint drumming act.
It’s funny, Jay Electronica is in a commercial about music in motion. That’s like putting Frank Ocean in a PSA about the worldwide album release date being changed from Tuesday to Friday. Jay has been absolutely stagnant, the only time he’s in motion is when he's dodging questions about his album. Even in the commercial, we see him write but we never hear him rap. You can look at it as a metaphor for his silence, all the years he stood before us saying nothing, even Toyota couldn’t cut him a big enough check to actually rap.
Now that would’ve been a big deal, new music from Electronica in an Avalon advertisement, imagine the internet melting down because the hermit finally decided to come completely out his shell and go full commercial. Now that would be a story.
In the description, it’s said that this will be, “The most dope video you’ll see all year,” which rings of false advertising. You have an excellent director with a theme recycled from 25 years ago, an excellent rapper that doesn’t rap, and a car that hasn’t had any representation in hip-hop since Jeezy stopped selling bricks, but it is nice on the eyes. When art and music collide, the big corporations won't be there to capture it. It happens right underneath their noses and they don’t even know it.