Jay Curry Tells Us His 13 Most Influential Albums

July 11, 2012 No comments yet

LBC native Jay Curry put the knock in two of our favorite Jealous Guys songs, “Love & Other Drugs” and “Life.” He made waves with his complex instrumental EP CheetahPrintRose$ at just 19. I’m getting ahead of myself, by the way he can rap. Jay is poised to be the next breakthrough artist out of LA. Ever the consumate crate digger, he shared with us his 13th most influential records and what they mean to him:


13. The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2001)

I heard this album a little after it came out.. I was young (10) but really into music way more than I felt I had ever been up to that point in my life. I was open to anything and really starting to discover outside the box genres. The Avalanches had the best transitions, the best cuts, and the best grooves. I love sampling crazy, weird, off edge sample joints, so it was like they took it to another fucking level. The Avalanches were the first I heard do this..(pre DOOM) it showed me there are no boundaries with this sampling and production shit. They had these crazy luxurious/beat rocking disco cuts, and the mellow grooves that just put all tons of dope images and ideas in my head. Big ups to this album for real…

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12. NaS – Streets Disciple (2004)

The very first song on this record is “A Message to the Feds, Sincerely, We the People”. After hearing it, it seemed like every NaS song made sense to me. Lyrics about the struggle, mixed with savage like production was something really rare for me to listen to at that time. It was like everything was metaphorically blatant for a reason. NaS is one of the few that could paint a picture so descriptively and subtly.

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11. Teebs – Ardour (2010)

I grew up around art. I always made art. I painted, I sketched, I did artsy shit. A friend of mine introduced me to Teebs back in 2010 and actually showed me his art pieces before his music. Now this was when I was heavily getting into my beatmaking, sampling, experimental shit. I would always try and see how others utilized a flip, or created an atmosphere with instruments and the way his lush instrumentals correlate with his paintings are utterly amazing. I was like damn..dude knows how to connect. Since then I’ve been to a handful of shows, got an autographed vinyl and been influenced ever since.

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10. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale (2006)

A friend of my dads gave me this LP. I had listened to the Ironman album before but I wasn’t really captivated by it like I was with the Fishscale album. In fact, Ghostface is one of the main reasons I started making music. This album proves my point. The way he can be so descriptive and dramatic on these samples are flawless. The production throughout the whole record was on point also. Dilla killed it, DOOM killed it, RZA killed it,…Ghostface made history with that one. He specifies every little detail and can like…fucking personify anything. It’s crazy. He has one of the biggest influences on me because he’s true to his style..ever since the jump of his career he’s always been the same nigga. It’s a real dope thing to have such a distinct sound and own up to it, especially when people fuck with it heavy. That’s what I’m striving for..carrying the listener throughout the journey almost on some Oukast type style.

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9. Stan Getz & João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (1964)

For about a year now i have been researching and collecting a lot of Vivo Sonhando/Brazilian/samba pop albums. I grew up listening to multiple jazz records and artists, so Stan Getz was already familiar to me. I came across Getz/Gilberto from the track “Ebony Samba”; from there I already knew this would become a classic to me. The Bossanova type really puts me in a mellow mood, so it heavily influences me to use more laid-back instruments. Coffee, weed, and Getz/Gilberto is my vice in the morning… I think the women draw me to it also.. Brazil had some foxes.

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8. DangerDoom – Mouse & The Mask (2005)

When I was younger I watched a lot of Adult Swim and I still do today. This album was played a lot on Adult Swim so I copped it. Since I got that album it has really helped me create my own lane for producing and rapping. The way Dangermouse and DOOM elegantly contradict themselves is amazing. DOOM can talk about whatever the fuck he wants and still make it cool and this helped me develop my flow here and there. Dangermouse is in the same producer league as Rick Rubin in my eyes. He can flip any song or create a whole different world with multiple genres…like on some chameleon type shit. I tend to aim in the same direction with my music. I like to always try new sounds or genres and blend them into my own personal sound…I don’t even think I’ll ever have my own personal sound actually, but this is the best way to sum it up.

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7. KanYe West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

Every song is over 5 minutes pretty much. It’s like going back to the old school swing of things with putting your all into the record and having undeniable instrumentation. I mean the fucking interlude is better than the actual song (all of da lights)…Kanye is my favorite producer of all time. This record proved everything. Most of the songs are all so organic in someway; intended syncopation throughout the whole project. Whether it was from lyrics, chorus patterns, or key changes, whatever it needed, it had. blah blah kanye rant // you know what it is.

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6. Blu – HerFavoriteColo(u)r (2009)

This record was always played in the rain..its almost like on a Miles Davis Birth of Cool sound…not saying I only listened to this album when I was down or whatever but its an oddly relatable album. I saw his video for the single “Amnesia” and the fact that he used clips form Ascenseur pour l’échafaud was fucking amazing. I have always been a fan of french culture so that automatically drew me to it as well. The whole album is full of movie clips n shit…I’ve been putting movie clips in my tracks since like 09′ so I was struck by the creativity on here. Blu’s production is unique. He chops up these dusty samples, or like early jazz cuts and adds subtle breakbeats to them and it’s hardbody.

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5. 88 Keys – Death of Adam (2008)

Conceptually this is easily one of my favorite albums. 88 keys is a phenomenal producer and picture painter on this record. He opens up peoples mind and ears to relationship situations through music. All of his beats were clean cut along side the samples. I like to place myself in a different world when I create a song, like seeing where I could hear it at, or who could be the face of it. 88 keys really puts you in a different cinematic scene on the album; almost like it could be a short film or something.

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4. Snoop Dogg – DoggyStyle (1993)

Snoop set the standard with this one. He made Long Beach that much cooler. I think it was the wordplay that influences me the most. Snoop was so smooth with his choice of words and he accompanied the beats gracefully.

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3. André 3000 – The Love Below (2003)

This is a record that was way ahead of its time. A Fucking masterpiece. Instrumentation was key in this record. This shit was beyond music to me. It opened my mind to thinking outside the earth.

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2. Ice Cube – Death Certificate (1991)

Ice Cube was one of the first artists I ever listened to. When I was younger my mom would always play the Kill at Will EP in the car or wherever the fuck we were. What really drew me to his work was his ability to make every lyric seem so drastic and personal. His story telling was like no other at that time and his beat selection was superior. People hated Ice Cube, which probably made me get more into his music. The fuck the free world attitude kind of like always hoping to start something. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted was tied with this one.

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1. JAY-Z – Reasonable Doubt (1996)

The title really says it all for me. Every song is relatable in quite an eerie way. Ski Beatz, Clark Kent, Premier… everybody orchestrated this album perfectly. Jay-Z is one of the illest lyricists of all time, just off this one album. He makes every track heartfelt, his story telling is superior, and the image he portrays is vivid. The way he breaks it all down in 55 minutes is what influences me to create that sort of 3rd person atmosphere on records. It was quick and straight to the point. like ” yo..here’s my story, if you ain’t fuckin with me then whatever, but 9/10 you’re gonna fuck with me.” It was like as if he almost knew that that album would set him in an invincible place. Dude was oblivious to the music, but still kept it coming on the art/street poet type style… I was put on to this when i was young…just learning about music and beats and all that and whenever I would need a go to record to gain inspiration…whether it was for beat purposes or lyrics, Reasonable Doubt had a way of bringing creativity out of me that no other album could.

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- as told to Bashir Roman


Get to know Jay Curry: soundcloud // twitter // tumblr // facebook // official site

For more Jay Curry sounds check out this exclusive mix for MJF