A Written Testimony

Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2020 Ratings: #291 / 819
Year End Rank: #44
User Score
2020 Ratings: #462
Liked by 40 people
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Consequence of Sound

Rest assured, Jay Electronica earns his reputation as an elite rhymer-sayer on A Written Testimony.

Jay-Z and Jay Electronica sound energized by each other, giving powerful performances at every turn. Bold production choices gel with this collaborative energy for an album that's inspired, driven, and sounds moved by the hand of unseen powers.
After years of waiting and mounting hype, Jay Electronica’s fantastic debut is a mystical, distinctive work that nearly lives up to all the lore surrounding the rapper.
Entertainment Weekly
The long-awaited debut album from the rapper is an impressive, noteworthy performance. But he's often outshined by Jay-Z.

As an album and summation of why so many people have revered Jay Electronica for so long, A Written Testimony was absolutely worth the wait. Let’s just hope the next one arrives sometime this decade.

‘A Written Testimony’ is a biblical album for biblical times, with enough human flaws to make it imperfect.

A Written Testimony still makes me want to hear more of what Jay Electronica has to offer. I hope we don’t have to wait another decade or complete societal collapse for us to get another album.

Q Magazine

An album that dares to tackle life's big questions head on.


As welcome as JAY-Z's frequent appearances on A Written Testimony are, it's clear that his purpose here is to serve as Electronica's human security blanket. That's forgivable for a first run, but if Electronica is to reach his full potential, he'll need to get comfortable with standing on his own two feet on future albums.

It’s a blessing to have so much new material from Jay Electronica on a single project, but this comes across as a collaborative Jay Z and Jay E album rather than a solo record. Throughout, Electronica cedes the spotlight to Jay Z, making ‘A Written Testimony’ sound like a ‘Watch The Throne’ or ‘Everything Is Love’.
My sincere hope is that as the years go by, Jay Electronica's grand studio album debut will be regarded as a commendable moment in modern hip hop. What I believe such a great album from a skilled rapper represents, ultimately, is that age does not determine your place in rap. In a culture widely dominated by a young generation of aspiring acts, Jay Electronica proved, at the age of 43, that he has the full capability of putting together an innovative, abundant, thoughtful piece of work. And he ... read more
Stunning debut from rap's most enigmatic figure of the past decade. Two legends going bar-for-bar on some polished, old school production.
That goddamn stock sound effect of the kids cheering
I was expecting this to be underwhelming considering how impossible it would be to live up to expectations. However, Jay Electronica has made a damn great album here. Yeah I wasn't expecting to hear Jay-Z on almost every song, but he does a great job of taking the supporting role here and letting Electronica shine.

Ghost of Soulja Slim, The Blinding, The Neverending Story, Universal Soldier, Flux Capacitor, A.P.I.D.T.A

LEAST FAV(S): Ezekiel's Wheel
« Jay proved himself. »
And that goes for both Jay Z and Jay E.

Dozens of 'artists' have made their mark on rap with one banger, made the crowds dance during one Billboard 100 hit, then nothing. Not enough consistency. A lot of them have fallen into oblivion after only a few years without an album, but not Jay Electronica. It must be said that the New Orleans MC made a lasting impression on rap, with only a short 15-minute mixtape and an iconic single: "Exhibit C". And if ... read more
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Added on: February 7, 2020