Jay Electronica makes a quick reemergence on the rap radar with his latest moody, street-tested single “Call of Duty (MW3)” featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep. The song was most likely recorded in the past week, as Jay compares the “vision to build” of the late Steve Jobs to that of Pac, Pun and Biggie. It’s unclear whether this is a one-off single or part of his forthcoming album Act 2: Patents of Nobility.
Jay’s tone is militaristic here — he opens with a somber, inspiring quote from Winston Churchill that espouses the valors of truth and justice to soldiers on the eve of battle. The backbone of the instrumental, produced by Young Guru, is a combination of sharp snares and a bellowing bass drum that could assist any army’s entrance into battle. A set of vocal samples fight back and forth, one repetitive and one drawn out, adding additional layers of tension above the reverberating low-end.
Lyrically, Jay Electronica sticks to his guns. He uses his typical rap-as-high-art references to things like God, Sikhs and the Royal Family through a cold, stop-and-go flow. In particular, he salutes himself for the pervasiveness of his two most celebrated singles, “Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)” and “Exhibit C.” Ultimately, the hook makes it clear that “Call of Duty” is a dedication to Roc Nation, the label he joined in November 2010. Perhaps Jay feels like now is the time to set foot in the trenches, draw a sharp lyrical line between his allies and enemies, and to finally get to work on his next project, for the sake of his label and waiting fans.