Brooklyn may not be dominating hip-hop’s headlines these days, but don’t be fooled. The borough is bursting with talent, as it has ever since Biggie was bagging up groceries on St. James and Fulton. Case in point: Jay Bel. He’s the kind of modern rapper that has a whole box of lyrical weapons and flows at his disposal, and isn’t afraid to bust out a melody or two when the time is right.
Expectations were high after the hazy elegance of “Kate,” but Jay has delivered. With Gamal on production, “Smoke Break” is an equally dense and rewarding track, with waves of smoky synths billowing over the beat as the Brooklynite delivers some rapid-fire rhetoric. Look out for Jay Bel’s debut LP Bohemia to drop sometime in May.