It's truly apt that Raw Money Raps opens with Jeremiah Jae hazily reminiscing about awakening from an especially chimerical journey. After a kaleidoscopic grip of beat tapes, EPs and mixtapes that have sent wi-fi connections rumbling, as well as a move from windswept Chi-city to the home of his Brainfeeder crew in LA, Jae unveils his sprawling debut full-length release. More than just an album, this is an all-encompassing Pynchonian, Tumblr-feeding, social networked art-rap fever dream. A seismic collision of the analog and digital worlds makes for deceptively hooky beats that double as sonic rabbit-holes, all of which cradles Jae's flow " which is a versatile instrument all it's own, skipping from rapid, focused deliveries to surprising melodic sing-a-longs then chopped-and-screwed slump and stream of consciousness brainfloods.
To be a young producer and MC in 2012 is no easy task, however with style and substance in short order and internet democratization run-rampant, there's arguably never been a better time for one to make their mark. Rather than jump headlong into the cresting 1990's throwback revival, Jae develops tracks and lyrics that link technology and metaphysics in a defiantly contemporary way, flipping swag rap tropes on their head and reveals a penchant for affecting introspection. This singular approach to music is almost certainly a by-product of Jae's split personality as a visual artist. Working in the context of fine art with paintings and collages as well as spreading into fashion design, Jae's output aligns him with multi-media luminaries like the late, great Rammellzee.
Raw Money Raps' first single, Money, is a where-did-my-cash-go-mid-afternoon summer jam for hot cloudy days ahead, accompanied by a suitably tweaked video directed by fellow renaissance man Flying Lotus. "Money" comes paired with another album standout in "Money and Food", which takes trap rap's unhinged synths and 808 kicks and filters them through Jae's prism. Across it's span, the album touches on fractured, cautionary headbangers ("Rover"), string-laden classicism ("Cat Fight") and deeply psychedelic futurism ("Hercules Versus the Commune") and in the process, ignites the brightest rising star of 2012. Prepare yourself for Jeremiah Jae's journey.