A psychedelic, multi-layered, intentionally awkward piece of work, Raw Money Raps is the direct descendent of Madlib and Dilla’s groundbreaking freeform approach to hip-hop. Rapper / producer / artist Jeremiah Jae blends avant garde song structures, wilfully esoteric samples and weirdly-pitched, abstract rhymes to produce a hazy, mesmeric witches’ brew of noise, beats and poetry, which only coalesces into coherence with repeated listens.
Like labelmate Flying Lotus, Jae has a family connection to the legacy of jazz – his father, Robert Irving III, was Miles Davis's musical director. Like serious jazz, Jae’s music is complex, at times halting and disjointed, making rhythm and melody out of dissonance and contradiction. Nobody used to the stilted eights and sixteens of commercial rappers, or the unimaginative boom-bap and pseudo-crunk that passes for mainstream American hip-hop beats will understand this album; or if they do, that understanding will leave them forever changed. A slow burner, Raw Money Raps is soulful, difficult, heartfelt and utterly modern. Experimental hip-hop at its best. [Bram E. Gieben]