Musician from Louisiana J. Gray has released his new full-length record, “The Rude Boy” to critical acclaim.
Musician from Louisiana J. Gray (also known as MC Drunken Monk) has released his new full-length record, “The Rude Boy” to critical acclaim. The record is hard to pin down with an appropriate pigeonhole, being part hip hop, part jazz, part performance art, and bearing also a wide variety of tonalities in very different types of songs from start to finish. All in all, it is a rap album, but “The Rude Boy” is as musically creative and innovative as it is intellectual. Its orchestration is often very spacious, and ingenius in its simplicity, not unlike the game of chess. Gray loves to play with phrasing in a way that is both mesmerizing and smooth (see “Reality Check,” featuring friends Clifford Brown III and Moon Brown, for a fine example of this).
“I believe in a higher purpose than what I see on TV and in the news,” says an early J. Gray lyric in “Do the Thang,” a particularly jazzy number of which Miles Davis would surely have approved. “When you are honest and let people see and hear who you really are,” J. Gray writes, “magic can happen in a way you can never predict.” He goes on to explain that the release of “The Rude Boy” is the culmination of fifteen years’ worth of writing, refining, and performing music.
Gray lists as major influences such greats (and such a variegated array of them) as Stevie Wonder, Digable Planets, Miles Davis, Guru, Robert Glasper, A Tribe Called Quest, and Wiz Khalifa, in that order. This is perhaps the source of his elasticity as a writer and performer – the ability to perceive, respect, enthusiastically enjoy and then emulate such disparate performers as Robert Glasper (gospel jazz pianist and singer) and Wiz Khalifa (who debuted his rap LP in 2006) does not come easily to most musicians, who tend to cleave to a single genre, and at most variations of it.
Of this technicolored musical background, Gray says, “I knew at a young age I had a gift for the arts, and I was constantly writing poetry as young as 12 and 13 years old, but I’ve honestly always lived in many worlds, science, art, and music. I think I had ADD at a young age and didn’t know it, ha ha!” The music world is better for it, too.
“The Rude Boy” is available online everywhere beginning early January 2013.
Staff Press Release Writer
The LP “The Rude Boy” is distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
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