Jay Electronica

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Jay Electronica
Jay Electronica in 2014 at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Jay Electronica in 2014 at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Background information
Birth nameTimothy Elpadaro Thedford[1]
Born (1976-09-19) September 19, 1976 (age 44)[2]
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • songwriter
Years active2007–present
Associated acts

Elpadaro F. Electronica Allah[3][4] (born Timothy Elpadaro Thedford; September 19, 1976), known professionally as Jay Electronica, is an American rapper and record producer who first received widespread attention after the release of his debut mixtape, Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), in 2007, and was signed to Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation in 2010. His debut studio album, A Written Testimony was released in 2020 and followed up by Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn) after years of speculation and delay.

Early life[edit]

Inspired by LL Cool J, Jay Electronica began rapping at the age of 10. He grew up in the Magnolia Projects in New Orleans and attended the all-boys parochial high school St. Augustine High School.

Electronica left New Orleans as a young adult in the late 1990s with the intention of moving to New York City but took a stop in Atlanta. Electronica was struck by "all the now hiring signs because of the Olympics." In Atlanta, he accepted the teachings of Elijah Muhammad via the Five-Percent Nation before moving on to becoming a registered member of the Nation of Islam at its headquarters in Chicago.


In 2007, Jay Electronica released his first mixtape, Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), via MySpace. It was downloaded over 50,000 times.[5] That success and his catalog led to Electronica joining the Rock the Bells Tour in 2008.[6]

Later that year, producer Just Blaze and Jay Electronica selected songs for Guitar Center's GAIN project, Fresh Cuts Vol. 3 and included a (previously unnamed) song which Just Blaze named “Exhibit A (Transformations).”[7]

Just Blaze would later (October 27, 2009) debut Exhibit C on Tony Touch's Sirius Radio program,[8] where it quickly caught on, making its way to terrestrial radio stations like New York's Hot 97 and spawning artist remixes from MCs AZ, N.O.R.E, Saigon, Joell Ortiz and others.

A bidding war ensued with Jay finally signing (November 12, 2010) with Roc Nation. Though fans and critics anticipated a full-length debut, Electronica's output in the subsequent decade consisted of several collaborations and non-album solo songs.[9]

On February 7, 2020, Jay Electronica announced via Twitter[10] the completion of his album, A Written Testimony, which was recorded over a 40-day period. It was released on March 13, 2020.[11]

On October 5, 2020, Jay Electronica announced via Twitter[12] that his previously unreleased album, Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn), was available for streaming on Tidal after the album had surfaced online two days prior.

Personal life[edit]

Jay Electronica and Erykah Badu were in a relationship for 5 years and have a daughter together, Mars Mekeba, born in 2009.[13]

Jay Electronica had an affair with Kate Emma Rothschild, the wife of Benjamin Goldsmith, resulting in the breakdown of Goldsmith's marriage.[14]



  1. ^ Bassil, Ryan (October 23, 2013). "The Prestige, The Five Percenters, and Why Jay Electronica Hasn't Released His Debut Album". Vice. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Jay Electronica Co-Signs Soulja Boy 'It's Not About Lyrics, It's About Energy - HIPHOPNEWS24-7.COM". YouTube. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Credits / A Written Testimony / J A Y E L E C T R O N I C A". Tidal. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Anon. (2020). A Written Testimony (CD booklet). Jay Electronica. Roc Nation. 51602.
  5. ^ Sweeney Kovar (October 10, 2013). "REVISITING… JAY ELECTRONICA'S 'ACT I: THE PLEDGE'". The Boombox. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Pharcyde Lead Rock the Bells 2008". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Guitar Center Helps Employees Release Their Music with Fresh Cuts Vol. 3 Compilation CD". Guitar Player. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Just Blaze debuts Jay Electronica's "Exhibit C" and more on Toca Tuesday (Updated w/ lyrics)". Miss Info. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  9. ^ Thompson, Paul (March 13, 2020). "Your Guide to the Extended Mythology of Jay Electronica, Rap's Great Mystery". Vulture. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "Album Done ". Twitter. J A Y E L E C T R O N I C A @JayElectronica. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Klinkenberg, Brendan (March 13, 2020). "Jay Electronica's Debut Album Is Real, and It's Finally Here". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  12. ^ @jayelectronica (October 5, 2020). "tidal.com/album/157489152" (Tweet). Retrieved October 9, 2020 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Fiyin, Olowokandi (February 10, 2020). "Meet Mars Merkaba, Erykah Badu's Younger Daughter Who Just Turned 11 in Beautiful Pics". news.amomama.com. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Beckford, Martin (June 22, 2012). "Jay Electronica: I'll 'come see' you, threatens Ben Goldsmith's rap star love rival". Daily Telegraph. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Minsker, Evan (February 7, 2020). "Jay Electronica Says His New Album Is Out in 40 Days". pitchfork.com.

External links[edit]