Jay Electronica
Electronica performing in 2014
Electronica performing in 2014
Background information
Birth nameTimothy Elpadaro Thedford[1]
Also known asJe'Ri
Born (1976-09-19) September 19, 1976 (age 45)[2]
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
EducationSt. Augustine High School
GenresHip hop
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • songwriter
Years active2000–present
Formerly ofThe Bullitts

Elpadaro F. Electronica Allah[3][4] (born Timothy Elpadaro Thedford; September 19, 1976), known professionally as Jay Electronica (stylized as J A Y E L E C T R O N I C A), is an American rapper and record producer. He first received widespread attention in 2007, after the release of his debut mixtape, Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge). The success of the aforementioned mixtape and the stand-alone single "Exhibit C" subsequently led fellow American rapper Jay-Z to sign Electronica to his 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

Inspired by LL Cool J, Jay Electronica began rapping at the age of 10. He grew up in the Magnolia Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana's 3rd Ward and attended the all-boys catholic 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.

Musical career

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.

In August 2021, Jay Electronica was featured on the song "Jesus Lord" released on Kanye West's album Donda[13]

Personal life

Jay Electronica performing in 2018

Jay Electronica and Erykah Badu were in a relationship for five years and have a daughter together, born in 2009.[14]

Jay Electronica had an affair with Kate Emma Rothschild, the wife of Benjamin Goldsmith, resulting in the breakdown of Goldsmith's marriage.[15]


Awards and nominations

Organization Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
Grammy Awards 2021 Best Rap Album A Written Testimony Nominated [16]


  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. April 22, 2008. 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.[permanent dead link]
  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. ^ Caraan, Sophie (August 29, 2021). "Full List of Producers and Guest Artists on Kanye West's 'DONDA'". HypeBeast. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "2021 GRAMMYs: Complete Nominees List". Grammy.com. November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.

External links