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Jay Electronica (born September 19, 1976) otherwise known as Timothy Elpadaro Thedford is an American hip-hop recording artist and record producer from New Orleans, U.S.
Thedford started rapping after he heard his nephew Akeem Pryor rhyme when he was a young age and by the time he was 19 he had left New Orleans, U.S. to pursue his music career. During this time Thedford called multiple cities in the U.S. home including Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York but it wasn’t until he reached Detroit, U.S., where engineer Mike Chavarria introduced him to J. Dilla and Mr. Porter that Jay Electronica’s profile was raised.
Thedford’s own raps were distributed mainly through his MySpace page, which is where he made available his “Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)” in 2007, to significant praise. Just Blaze and Erykah Badu make cameo spoken word appearances on the track explaining how they came to know Thedford before he raps continuously over Jon Brion’s soundtrack to the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.
As a result Jay Electronica’s “Style Wars” EP gained a lot of public attention, in January 2008 Giles Peterson dedicated 90-minutes of radio time to the rapper, and he has been described as a sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac, for his elusive and mysterious character. The rapper is yet to release a full-length album and ex-partner and ex-collaborator Erykah Badu doubted he ever would, Thedford’s first two official singles to date “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit C” have been critically acclaimed tracks, the latter of which shot to the top ten in the iTunes Hip-Hop chart.
Thedford appeared at Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2010, and has continued his sporadic release of tracks including “A Million in the Morning” and “The Ghost of Christopher Wallace. He signed to Roc Nation in 2010 following an announcement from Jay-Z, home to other acts including J. Cole and Willow Smith.
“Act II: Patents of Nobility (the Turn)” is the long-awaited debut album of the rapper, which promises to feature popular-culture idols including Kanye West, Diddy, Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Jay-Z, and due to its elongated release has become one of the most anticipated albums in hip-hop.