“Drywall” is a unique introduction to Jay Joseph

The new artist brings clear creativity to his EP, but it may not be for everyone.

Lauren McBride, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Jay Joseph is one of the newest, most unexpected artists to come out of 2021 so far. Looking for a fresh avenue to filter his creativity, the basketball player produced his first EP “Drywall” in his parents’ basement. Fans of alternative rap and new, underground music may enjoy the listen, as there are some hidden gems contained in the four tracks. 

BROTHERLY INSPIRATION

Fans of alternative rock band Twenty One Pilots may recognize the name Jay Joseph as lead singer Tyler Joseph’s less-than-famous younger brother. Tyler Joseph’s influence is heard very clearly throughout “Drywall.” Jay Joseph weaves heavy, transparent lyricism, intense beats and a natural variety of genres, all characteristics of Twenty One Pilots songs that are evident in “Drywall.” 

In addition to that, Joseph throws a diss at his older brother into the first song on the EP. The young artist sings, “Rapping on my own track, I don’t need a kitchen sink,” which is a very clear reference to an early Twenty One Pilots track, “Kitchen Sink.” The song uses a “kitchen sink” to refer to a memorable moment which gives the artist motivation to continue. Through this reference, Joseph communicates that he does not need to rely on these big moments and symbolism for his music like his brother, but prefers to just let the lyrics flow.

DECENT RECORDINGS

Drywall” is a satisfactory introduction to the EP, the whole track reminiscent of NF’s “Intro” tracks. The lyrics give listeners an overarching sense of Joseph’s purpose in writing these songswriting music gives him a sense of freedom and inspiration. He does not care what others think, and wants to write about what makes him feel alive. The beat is catchy and enough to get a casual listener interested in the rest of the tracks.

Jumpman” follows a steady flow, with lyrics becoming more personal and offering a more descriptive look at Joseph’s life. The heavy electronic outro makes it a track easy to blast through speakers and dance to. The EP goes a different direction with “Heart Break Kid,” a love song to Joseph’s girlfriend. Though still containing his classic rap style, the track is more lighthearted in comparison to the rest of the EP. A catchy, cheerful song, “Heart Break Kid” is undoubtedly one of the most easily enjoyable additions to “Drywall.”

The first single on the EP to release Feb. 10, “Gundabad” is one of Joseph’s most memorable tracks. The artist retains an intense enthusiasm throughout the song, slowing down only for the verse, giving the feeling that he is talking directly to his listeners. The track compares writing to drug use, bringing in references from Mount Gundabad in “The Lord of the Rings” to aid in the imagery.

The lyricism and symbolism are clever, and there are definitely a couple of easily enjoyable tracks. However, the low production quality as well as intensity of some of the songs may turn some away from “Drywall.” Though it is not for everyone, Joseph brings something unique and fresh to the music world that is definitely worth the listen.

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