Mobile, Alabama has become the heart of the new southern rap movement, powered by the massive successes and trailblazing from artists like NoCap and Rylo Rodriguez who have dominated recent headlines, to artists like OMB Peezy who has been a cornerstone to the melodic street rap movement years before many of his current peers began, and now even female rap supestar Flo Milli who has been dazzled this year with her Ho Why Is You Here? project this year which elevated her into the ranks of other mainstream talent. However amongst this breeding ground for talent and musical innovation my favorite new young artist is Jay Montana whose incredible ability is obvious on his new mixtape Not A Rapper 2 that gives an extensive look at his elaborate skillset and shows him shining just as brightly as some of his home state’s finest.
“Don’t Panic” was a single and visual preceding the project and is the first song of his that grabbed my attention from his effortless blend of both clever lyrical ability and innate vocal gifts that allow him to float all over the southern-fried, guitar-laced instrumentals he chooses. Rylo Rodriguez who has been very supportive of Montana thus far joined him on track four, “Fake Love” that opens up on one of your classic Rylo-style beats and opens with Rodriguez sleepwalking over the serene and twangy beat and delivering a really solid feature even compared to many of his more notable guest appearances so far this year, but nonetheless Jay Montana shined perhaps more brightly on this track. Tana is joined by fellow Mobile native OMB Peezy on the track “Appeal” where Montana opens the track up with a catchy hook with his distinct playful flow which accentuates his clever lyrical ability flawlessly. “Nike” is another track where Jay flexes his astute writing abilities that seem to be an innate element with the Mobile fleet of artists who have to overcompensate for many of the shortcomings of their market with increasingly creative and groundbreaking song structures.
The following track “Fame” was the first video I ever highlighted of his on Lyrical Lemonade last month and it is another catchy addition to his quickly building catalog. Rising Birmingham star Big Yavo joined Montana on their track “James Harden” that takes Yavo out of his usual element instrumentally but he follows Montana’s lead excellently and this is yet another instance of Montana perhaps outshining a much more established artist on one of his first truly serious releases. There is little doubt in my mind that Jay Montana will be the next artist up in one of hip-hop’s great new outposts and I am eager to watch both him and his city continue to flourish as 2020 comes to a close.