CD REVIEW: Jay Braaks – A Proud Outcast

Posted: May 31, 2011 by Windsor Zene in CDs, Reviews
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Clarissa Guyton

Jay Braaks, A Proud Outcast

Jay “Idol” Braaks, one of Windsor’s particularly talented hip-hop artists, has released his greatly anticipated CD A Proud Outcast. First, let me introduce you to Braaks, for those who may not be aware of who he is. Jay Braaks has been grindin’ in the City of Roses for several years now. I first met him at a spot on the West End while visiting a few good friends. At this point, I was unaware of who he was but that has definitely changed. Jay Braaks is very well-known in the Windsor Hip Hop scene for his lyrical ability, super “swagness”, and his eccentric personality. From being tatted up from head to toe, to wearing neon colours, plaid, and skinny jeans, he’s in a league of his own…you just don’t come across artists in Windsor like Braaks every day.

Jay’s mix CD, A Proud Outcast, is packed with 22 hot tracks and starts off with an inspirational melody and prayer that introduces this insanely amazing piece of work. It leads into the title track “A Proud Outcast,” that consists of Braaks lettin’ people know what he’s all about. He basically tells you that he doesn’t give a damn what you think about him, and that he is proud to be different. The entire CD is filled with tracks like this one that display his lyrical dexterity and seriously sick punch lines. The song ends with Braaks telling us, “Be proud. Be proud to be different. Be proud to stand out. Be proud to be an outcast.” Well, I agree.

As you continue to listen to the CD, you will catch on to the kind of person Jay Braaks is. Whether he is making up his own vocabulary like “Hawwd” or whether he is slappin’ haters in the face like in “I Grind, You Play,” it is apparent that this dude has serious interest in stackin’ money, getting’ freaky with your girl (watch out fellas lol), and bringing swag to the game. Braaks gives us some sweet tracks in which he stops and talks to the listener, especially like in “Tha Lecture” when he is teaching a lesson on how people aren’t happy with “the man in the mirror” and this is why they hate on other people. Braaks tells us to say the hell with the haters, and use it as fuel. The message he gives while talking at different parts in the song is definitely a good lecture that needs to be heard.

Now, while Braaks has an uplifting and inspirational side to his music, at times, he also has a very freaky and cocky side to him. Tracks including “Doing My Thang” and “Freaky Baby” display both of these characteristics. “Freaky Baby” is a song strictly for the ladies and when you listen to it you will understand why. Personally, my advice would be to try a cold shower or indulge in a lot of chocolate after you listen to this track. If his abilities are as well as he portrays, I can understand why he is so cocky!!! The track “On My Own” speaks about his independence and about how there are more haters than supporters when it comes to the hip-hop scene. “Everywhere I go, I feel so out of place, nobody shows me love, everybody wants to hate, but I don’t really care, I’m staying in my zone, cuz I don’t need nobody I’m a do it on my own.”

My favourite track on the CD would have to be “Show You” as it is one of the deepest tracks on the compilation. Braaks talks about the trials and tribulations of his life and how he is expressing his feelings about how he has a hard time staying positive all the time due to all of the negativity around him. The hook explains it best, “My expression is I’m showing you I’m pissed. It’s not hard to tell that I’m going through some shit. I think I’m gonna lose it but I’m hoping I’m wrong, it feels like my emotions are gone.” Braaks really digs deep with this track and I honestly feel like I know a little more about him just by listening to this CD. His exterior has always been admirable and after listening to this track specifically, it is confirmed for me that his interior is just as admirable.

While mainstream music today is strictly commercial with lyrics about money, cars, women, and swag that hold no meaning, it is easy for some to compare Jay Braaks’ music to it as such. However, Jay Braaks has a positive attitude that is enmeshed in his tracks, even the tracks that talk about swag, money, and women. Perhaps not all the time, but if you actually listen to his lyrics and not just the beat like a lot of people do these days, you will notice that there is actual meaning to what he says. Jay Braaks is not only a very talented artist, but his sense of humour, confidence, and personality are something that is missing in today’s hip-hop scene. He may not be the only hip-hop artist in the city with these characteristics, but it is certain that you will never meet another dude like Jay “Idol” Braaks!

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