The Vulture – [Jay Montana]

The increase in regional rap’s diversifying of sounds has lead to a lot of new recent trends in sound, from Brooklyn to Memphis to Baton Rouge and of course Detroit, the way people rap is more than ever reflecting the part of this country they come from, and that is especially becoming the case in Mobile, Alabama. However Mobile is much more than your standard regional outpost of music with a cool local scene or a couple names making noise in the industry, and that could not be further from the case.

The city has produced bona fide stars such as Yung Bleu, NoCap, or Flo Milli, and plenty more artists that are easily identifiable in the mainstream but have more underground, cult-like followings with OMB Peezy and Rylo Rodriguez, and there are plenty other names as well that are worth mentioning for their contributions to the region’s overall sound, but none have been quite as innovating and prolific as Jay Montana, who has given his fans seven mixtapes already since picking up the mic in 2019.

He has continued off of the sound that NoCap and Rylo Rodriguez first popularized and has continued to build off of elements of their styles, accentuating different styles of the guitar-riffs that make Mobile so distinctive, but also recently introducing more elements of standard trap production, taking influence from Atlanta where he has recorded the bulk of his music in the past year. He has a rapidly growing fanbase of dedicated listeners all across the south and his music resonates with people in a very unique way as his voice is both a familiar conduit of pain, but also introducing more upbeat and happy flows amidst a scene that has connected with many because of its downtrodden-ness.

On his new album The Vulture he gives his most formal work yet, perfecting mixes and carefully choosing a wide variety of beats, ranging from the left-field Kabo produced introduction that took a unique and subdued drum pattern mixed with a plucky acoustic guitar melody that he is able to skate all over, to more bright and bubbly instrumentals like the Yetty produced “Hood N-gga Arrangements” which revealed a more tender side of his artistry that had not yet been exposed. On tracks like “Lick Back” he and Kabo take a turn towards contemporary Atlanta production and move away from the southern-fried Mobile-melodies for an up-tempo banger that is certain to have clubs from Louisiana to Tennessee rocking.

After his all-solo project in April B4DACHECK, Montana is back into more of a collaborative state, featuring OMB Peezy on their rousing track “No Face” where both Jay and Peezy play off of each other well with upbeat and quick flows. Tana also finally is giving Mobilians a much anticipated song from his best friend Monie Luwopp who has been making music quietly for a while now in his city but is yet to fully take his craft serious, but he makes an appearance on the bonus track, “Soulja Slim” where he unveils all of his raw vocal talent and makes a lasting impression on the project, and I am very eager to see him start releasing his solo-music, personally.