No Data Makes Your Ears Smile

Born in Nigeria, and raised in Atlanta, Daye Jack has officially burst onto the scene with his album No Data. You might recognize the singer/rapper from his feature on Tori Kelly’s album, but Daye isn’t a complete stranger to the music scene. He has a few projects under his belt, like 2016’s Surf The Web, which fits as a proper precursor to No Data. With a unique blend of elements and overall sound, Daye’s debut stands out among some of the game’s most recent releases in a big way.

The album opens up with the title track where we meet Daye’s new A.I. companion, Sam, who sticks around for the rest of the project. She seems dope. I mean who wouldn’t a super-technologically advanced homegirl? The futuristic cut really sets the tone for what we can expect the rest of the way. The whole project reminisces of the old N.E.R.D albums, as the production matched with Daye’s voice sounds similar to the Neptunes and Pharrell. While that may be kind of a heavy comparison, it’s still justified in my book. The pretty synths layered throughout the album are to die for, and the way Daye switches between singing and rapping is exceptional. Each track brings something different to the table but it all sounds like a nicely curated effort. On one song you might get some heavy guitar and drums, and the next you get a whole techno dream. You’ll hear some nice Jazz influence one minute and then out of nowhere it sounds like you’re in the middle of a level in Zelda. It’s amazing.

The 6-10 stretch of tracks is very essential to No Data. “Lady Villain” is one of the best tracks on the album and is basically the perfect platter of Daye’s talents he has in his arsenal. It’s followed by “Bully Bully,” another one for the highlight books. Coming after is the rap heavy “Raw.” Backed by a set of pretty keys with smartly paired high hats, featuring both Denzel Curry and Grim Dave, “Raw” shows Daye’s versatility as an artist and as a true rap lyricist. Through those three you get heavy raps, lush vocals, and this whole mesh of this glitch-rock/hop thing that comes off great. Then at #9 comes the “Need Some Mo’ Interlude” that is extremely elegant. By the time it gets to “Casino” at #10 there’s no way you can’t convince me that Daye doesn’t have a part of Pharrell’s vocal chords inside of him. (Coming from me that is definitely in the highest tier of compliments.)

Time to slaughter / street fighter fist, that’s Nintendo / Told my alma mater gotta send me money, Venmo

It’s a rare thing when an album doesn’t give any throwaway tracks, but on No Data it’s hard to locate any such work. Daye clearly put a lot of effort into making this sound just right. With the platter of sound he’s working with, any sort of iffy tracks would have stuck out like fireworks going off at six in the morning. Lyrically Daye is on a good plane as a songwriter. He shows witty wordplay and uses clever references throughout, and this concept of having an A.I. speak to you on an album is pretty smart. Especially cool when he goes “Hey Sam, How do I be the coolest muhfucka in the world?”

No Data
is all about being you. Going for what you want and staying true. Daye’s only 21, but he’s made quite a wise project here. He takes into account the digital age we live in and how sometimes those technological influences can prohibit us from being who we really are. Taking a page from Tyler, the Creator‘s book, in an Instagram post Daye mentions how he isn’t one for society’s boxes. Which makes sense, cause I’m not really sure what box you can throw this man in. Now that I think about it, Daye doesn’t go in a box, he is a box – a super sized crayon box. The ones with the colors you’ve never even heard of. Like Razzmatazz or Fuzzy Wuzzy. That’s how colorful this project is.

You could think that all of the genre blending might sound messy (and if you do, I probably won’t talk to you for two weeks), but No Data finds itself coming off just as clean as the next album. I mean it’s hard to be a messy album when the closer is as pure sounding as the “No Data Outro.” This track sounds like what being inside of a cloud feels like, and Daye Jack might officially be the smoothest up and comer in hip-hop right now after this drop.

Trust, when you listen to No Data, your ears will be smiling.

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