Jay Stone

I’m really excited about Bay Area hip-hop these days, and Jay Stone is yet another shining example of the strength of the local scene. On 16th & Adeline, named for the location of producer Trippy Swaggert‘s apartment where the album was recorded, Stone takes on Swaggert’s challenging beats with ease. “He gave me some beats that were like tailor made to my style, it was crazy!”, Stone tells me. “The instrumentation really carved a path for me to take the music to another place.”

Ayahuasca“, my favorite track on the album, is also the most experimental. For the heart of the track, Swaggert takes a dirty guitar riff and no drums while Stone’s vocals are run through what sounds like a wah-wah pedal. Eventually, a crescendo builds with Stone losing his shit while drums are finally brought in before a jazzy outro. While the rest of the album is slightly more conventional, there’s still great moments to be found on each track.

Stone tells me he has a couple of musical projects in the works, and is preparing for his first trip to South by Southwest this year. No shows are scheduled, but Jay tells me he can be seen cruising around Oakland on his modified moped named “Beatrix”.