Jay Rock hasn’t released a solo single since his 2018 album Redemption, but he’s back to put on for the “Eastside” with a rowdy new hometown anthem. Produced by frequent TDE collaborator Kal Banx, “Eastside” is full of allusions to Jay Rock’s rough upbringing in Watts, California, from blaring sirens to lyrical references to the shootouts his place of origin is all-too-well known for.
Although it has been a while since we last heard a song where Jay Rock is the lead artist, he’s infrequently popped up on tracks from labelmates and local peers over the past couple of years. Last summer, he appeared with fellow TDE artist Reason on “Is What It Is,” while in 2020, he lent an assist to Eastside neighbor Problem on “Nothin’” with Jack Harlow and fellow California native Anderson .Paak for a remix of “Lockdown” featuring Dreamville rapper JID and Chicago indie star Noname.
Also in 2020, Rock noted that his next album is “80 percent finished,” although a long delay before release can be typical with his label. Although Top Dawg artists don’t often release with the frequency of other indie acts, the wait is always worth it; Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick Lamar, and SZA are all among the acts on the label that had a five-year gap between releases and all of their new albums were well-received last year.
Listen to “Eastside” above.