First appearing on the world wide music scene in 2007, Jay Electronica actually has his roots in New Orleans, though he began to make a profound impact on the hip hop industry while living in Detroit. A bit of a wanderer, the Jay Electronica biography must contain chapters in several cities, including Denver, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia, prior to his arrival in the Motor City.
Born Timothy Elpadaro Thedford, the 34 year old hip hop emcee is among the latest recruits to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, a profound achievement for an up and coming artist who has yet to release a full album. To date,his music has only included singles and mixtapes.
The Jay Electronica mixtapes and singles that have hit the market have mostly made their way to fan via the internet up to this point. He is an unusual artist with a non-traditional approach to marketing, debuting his music online and free of charge, via Twitter, MySpace and other websites.
The first of the singles to be released Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), hitting the internet in 2007 and quickly making an impact. The track, which is more than nine minutes in length, is one of the most common hip hop searches performed on the web, with Jay Electronica lyrics for the piece being sought by fans around the world on a daily basis.
It was in Detroit that he made several important industry contacts, including producers Mike “Chav” Chavarria, J Dilla, and Mr. Porter. These hip hop giants are only a few among many to be associated with the artist’s trip to stardom. Several releases over the past few years have featured some of rap’s big names, including P Diddy, Mos Def, Tone, Jay-Z and others.
Jay Electronica Exhibit A was the next big step for the budding star. This single released in 2008 resulted in shock waves across the music scene, with fans making a lot of online noise and many within the hip hop industry waking up and taking notice.
The buzz surrounding the emcee only grew with Jay Electronica Exhibit C hitting the scene in 2009 and gaining a win for “Instant Classic” at MTV2’s 2009 Sucker Free Summit Awards. The track was released via the artist’s MySpace page and offered free to fans, a rarity in the music world.
It is this non-traditional approach to marketing that allowed him to become an overnight sensation, taking the music world by storm. The fans of the emcee await new releases with much excitement and internet queries for downloads continue to be among the most common hip hop related searches.
This unusual music release method has served the emcee well, not only resulting in worldwide recognition but a new label as well. With the Roc Nation label behind him, there’s likely no stopping the young Jay Electronica, who is preparing to release what has been called a “multimedia experience” in 2011. Tracks and videos from the multimedia release began hitting the internet in 2010, bringing even more fans into fold.