If you are a follower and supporter of Jay Jody, then you will know about his recent string of single packs titled ‘The Revenge Pack’, ‘The Revenge Pack: Before Sunset’ and ‘Revenge Is Sweet’.
Jay Jody is the new pseudonym the rapper has chosen for the next segment of his career as a solo artist. Shameless plug – I conducted an interview with Jay Jody last year.
THE REVENGE PACK
His first release as Jay Jody came via the first of the revenge series simply titled ‘THE REVENGE PACK’. Before we get into any sonic and lyrical exploration of the tape, let’s start at the first interaction a listener has with music – the cover art. If you hadn’t already guessed or just couldn’t tell like me, the kid that you see on the covers of ‘The Revenge Pack’ and ‘The Revenge Pack: Before Sunset’ – is little Jay Jody.
So on each cover art, we progressively see Jay Jody getting older and with each iteration of the cover art there is a change from both a subject matter and sonic point of view. The choice to have himself as the cover art is an integral part of The Revenge Theory.
Starting off with the Revenge Pack – The EP is set up in a manner that sees him speak to himself retrospectively- almost as if he is speaking to the younger version of Jody and the sound of the EP is very soft and melodic. It’s almost as if… he is in the process of falling in love with music and you’ll find that realigning with one’s purpose is a golden thread throughout the EPs.
On the song “ON TIME” he talks about waking himself up from a deep sleep. Outside of the reference to the matrix, which he is clearly a fan of, Jay Jody is making a metaphoric reference to the deep sleep and the matrix as a state where one is numbingly accepting of the status quo. Again, it links back to the golden thread of purpose. Jay Jody’s realisation that he was in his own ‘matrix’ where he was accepting of the state of things around him. With him awakening from his slumber, his eyes are open to the possibilities of what his reality could or should be.
THE REVENGE PACK: BEFORE SUNSET
Moving onto ‘THE REVENGE PACK: BEFORE SUNSET’. To reiterate, the key to The Revenge Theory is to look at all 3 EPs as a story. If you put all of the revenge packs in a playlist in order of release date, the first song we move onto is “QUINCY JONES FREESTYLE”.
Whereas we had an introspective self-coaching version of Jay Jody on the prior EP, he does a complete 180 on “QUINCY JONES” with a different level of braggadocio. Not to sound like an English poetry teacher… but it feels like Jay Jody is managing the self-doubt that comes with being a human being, against the persona one has to fill when being a rapper. This figurative constant swing of the pendulum proves to be too much for some artists – which is a topic we will touch on later.
Followed by “QUINCY JONES” is the song “All SZN!”; An unapologetic call for smoke to anyone who wants it… but that isn’t the point of the song. On the song, he lays out clearly his views on the perceived reluctance of certain pockets of the SA Hip-Hop community to let go of the ‘golden era’ as he raps, “They talking bout 2015/16, complaining that it don’t really feel the same. Let it go dawg for real, it’s looking like you got the Stockholm.”
Looking at the type of music that Jay Jody is creating as a solo artist versus the type of music he produced under Benchmarq at Ambitiouz, it’s easy to understand why he would like to move on from that period of his musical career, from a creative perspective.
Moving onto The Moment. I don’t really view the song as a part of The Revenge Theory. I view it as a taste of the sort of sound we hear on Sunset Stories. Sonically, it sounds like it would belong with songs like “The Deal” and “Believe In Me”.
REVENGE IS SWEET
And that brings us to the final part of The Revenge Theory. Revenge Is Sweet.
In contrast to the other single packs, we see the present-day Jay Jody on the cover. This is a sign of his self-acceptance as a human being and as a rapper, and we hear why on the opening song of the EP, “What’s The West That Could Happen”.
For the first time, we hear Jay Jody take on a storytelling style of rapping and the subject matter of the song pretty much confirms his battles of self-doubt and self-criticism on his journey to becoming a rapper. But the most striking moment of this song comes at the tail end…
Having spoken to Jay Jody at the time, he said coming through a traumatic moment like being shot, you reach a crossroads in your life. Having come that close to losing your life, you may as well live your life with the full intention to live life on your own terms; to take the plunge and exit the deep sleep of the matrix.
The only song I couldn’t quite figure out was “LOOT LOVE” – I know the song is about money but if you can figure out how the song fits into the overarching theme, let me know in the comments below.
And finally, that brings us to stone cold, which I feel is the signature song on REVENGE IS SWEET. Listening to all of the revenge packs in order, “STONE COLD” is a triumphant song that sees Jay Jody accept everything that came to be; whilst embracing everything he wants to see come to life. Hence on the chorus, he raps, STONE COLD, “Got the game in a figure four. Bitch, I know the ropes Jericho”
If you still don’t believe me then listen to the overall message on the song “STAR SIGNS” which is a song that talks about acknowledging one’s power to reach their full potential. Finally letting go of the self-doubt that cast over him.
And that brings us to the final song of the EP, “FREE”. Looking at the subject matter of the song, you can tell that he is at peace with closing this chapter of his life and the lyrics of the song are quite self-explanatory.
So in the end, what is ‘The Revenge Theory’? The Revenge Theory is not about getting back at people. The Revenge Theory is about being the best version of yourself. Achieving your own potential through self-actualisation… and that… is The Revenge Theory.