JayJay DontPlay, born Joseph Castillo, from the Inland Empire, Southern California, is fresh into the music scene. A music lover, JayJay has always been particularly attracted to rap. He never realized that he could make music until he messed around on his cousin’s mic about 2 years ago. He quickly snapped up a laptop and a soundcard and hasn’t stopped yet. JayJay DontPlay currently makes his own beats and is busy producing his upcoming album to be entitled “Calie Living”. In the meantime he has dropped the single “And I Don’t” (Prod. By JayJay DontPlay).
If albums are carefully selected, heavily A&R controlled projects designed to maximize an artist’s potential and impact, mixtapes have been a method for under-funded artists to perform a flanking maneuver. Notionally, a mixtape is different than an album in that it’s faster to put together, and perhaps a bit less consequential song-for-song, its best ideas spread out over multiple releases.
At the forefront today though, with all the digital download stores, the single reigns supreme. It’s the fastest way to connect an artist to an audience. It can be likened to a TV commercial for a sellable product – you have a small amount of time to communicate a very big message. You need to get it just right, to move the product.
“And I Don’t” is JayJay DontPlay’s TV commercial for his product – the album “Calie Living”. And he gets it right. This multi-dimensional charismatic character is a craft-driven artist with his talons plunging deep into the fabric of American rap music.
Rather than chasing some past mixtape golden era, he has set his sights on the challenge of making an album that celebrates him for being him, and proudly puts out the collection’s lead single to whet our appetites. Clearly this recording shows that “And I Don’t” is no misguided attempt at pumping out a generic potential pop crossover.
It is not loaded with features, it does not have a female sung hook; in fact it doesn’t even have a significant recurring chorus hook-line to hang any pop pretenses on. Instead, JayJay DontPlay has focused on doing what he does best, and at the highest possible quality – which means it pure rapping and storytelling over a minimal trap-styled beat.
The rhymes are tight and punchy, infused with the sheer force of JayJay DontPlay’s gravelly vocal delivery, thus setting him up as momentarily poised to conquer the known rap universe with his upcoming album. For now, “And I Don’t” leaps out and instantly signifies a potentially great rapper firing on all cylinders.
To that end, this track is a successful attempt to affirm JayJay DontPlay’s identity and establish his place in raps underground hierarchy with a measured dose of what he is building his future sound on.