Jay Rock may be the oldest member of Top Dawg Entertainment‘s now-veteran roster of rappers, but he also holds the distinction of possibly being one of its most overlooked. While TDE diehards clamor for new material from Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and even Isaiah Rashad, it seems that the grizzled Watts-bred vet hasn’t generated quite as much discussion online as his compatriots.
That may all change in the coming weeks as TDE has announced that the label’s next release will be Rock’s third studio album, Redemption, June 15. It’s been three years since his sophomore album 90059, which has given the Nickerson Gardens prospect plenty of time to both grow as a person and sharpen his craft. His most recent outing, the triumphant single “Win,” already teased a slightly different direction than the defiant, harrowing street tales and muted beat selection of 90059.
Rock also delivered a standout performance on the Black Panther soundtrack single, “King’s Dead,” alongside Kendrick Lamar and Future, which may have the desired effect of drawing a bit more attention to the usually understated lyrical assassin. He also put some points on the board on TDE’s Championship Tour, donning a full basketball uniform — complete with headband and shooting sleeve — to deliver impassioned verses alongside TDE team captain Kendrick during his electrifying set. The combination of fiery guest verses and primetime billing during the label’s tour may finally achieve the desired effect of taking Rock from valued role player to vaunted star. We’ll find out in June.
Redemption drops June 15 via Top Dawg Entertainment.