California is home to the most influential west coast Hip-Hop acts. From Rappin’ 4-Tay, N.W.A, and Tha Dogg Pound to YG, Schoolboy Q, and Kendrick Lamar, the west side never fails to deliver — especially on the G-Funk tip.
Making his way to the west coast Hip-Hop frontier is Compton by the way of Vancouver spitter Jay Worthy. Repping Compton in every aspect, Worthy first received significant recognition after the debut of Aktive, with his LNDN DRGS collaborator Sean House on Fool’s Gold Records.
And the streets loved it; Worthy’s hard hitting lyricism about the gangster lifestyle and pimping, paired with House’s production featuring 80’s music samples mirrors the west coast rap that dominated radio airwaves back in the 90’s. Vice Magazine called the 14-track set with guest appearances from the late A$AP Yams and Krayzie Bone an “utter delight reveling in sumptuous soul and R&B.” Two years after the debut of the acclaimed free album, Worthy is back it.
This time around, he’s teamed up with the one and only Alchemist to deliver Fantasy Island. Showcasing promising bi-coastal heavy hitters like Conway, $ha Hef, Rugotti, Ray Wright, Polo100 and Big Body Bes, the 16-minute set presents a more mellow backdrop than Aktive. Still mirroring the swagger of Uncle Snoop mixed with Ice Cube with a side of Eazy-E, Worthy is an artist worth checking out. But despite his recognition within the music industry, many people still don’t know who he is. So we’ve compiled a list of facts to get you acquainted with Compton’s “best-kept secret” after catching up with him during Westside Gunn and Conway’s Griselda On Steroids tour stop in NYC:
1. He’s close friends with G Weeder and Kendrick Lamar: “G Weeder is one of my best friends and manager; K-Dot is my m********in’ dog, all of TDE, that’s fam.”
2. The name Jay Worthy is not a play on assistant LA Lakers coach and retired Lakers small forward James Worthy.
3. The cover art and name of the new project was Alchemist’s idea. As for what may have influenced his idea:
“It’s a couple things, it could be the TV show smooth and laid back, he said.” The whole project’s got sounds of birds and the ocean and then there’s a strip club up the street from Al’s house called Fantasy Island.”
4. Rock singer Grimes is his step sister.
5. He grew up traveling back and forth from Vancouver and Compton.
6. He’s been repping Compton since age 17 and identifies with Compton more than his birthplace because:
“…that’s where I grew up and became a man and where I spend most of my time, especially music wise,” said Worthy. “Ever since we were kids we were in Compton, my pops had us out there. Vancouver is a place where I go relax and see my family but it’s not really home to me anymore.”
7. Ice Cube influenced him to start rapping:
“I remember the first CD I bought with my little allowance was Ice Cube’s The Predator,” he said. “I would sit there with my headphones on and listen to it from top to bottom. Shortly after that, it was Snoop; before Cube it was Eazy-E, and The Geto Boyz… But Cube was the one that made me want to rap; he had kids on his album rapping on “Fantasy Fairytale” so I was like ‘I want to rap too’.”
8. Alchemist was a fan of Worthy’s music before meeting him.
“I met him at an Action Bronson show backstage, he came up to me and said he was a fan of my s**t,” he said. “We were out of town and [when] we got back to LA, we linked up.”
9. On becoming a man in the streets, put it this way:
I was a wild boy…I’m just happy to be here making music, I could be in a lot worse situations, I’m happy it worked out for me,” he said.
10. He writes quite frequently as thoughts come to him without editing his verses.
11. His top rappers dead or alive:
“I like Pac, I like Nas, I like Kendrick, I like Raekwon, I like DJ Quik even as a rapper.”
12. Artists, he wants to work with include “Gap Band, Charlie Wilson, George Clinton and Steve Harrison.”
Look out for more music from Jay Worthy right here on RESPECT.