With a bit of stealth and a lot of raw charisma, Jay Bang lays down one verse after another in her new single “On Sight,” bringing us ever closer with every heavy breath she draws. Even with a strong linguist like Oz the Hitmaker in the studio, it’s clear from the jump who’s really in charge here, and for Jay Bang, it’s never been a better moment to be the woman on top. This spring has seen a lot of smart hip-hop coming out of obscurity, but if her contemporaries want to keep the pace, they’re going to have to work a little harder than she does in “On Sight.”
The first thing that I noticed in my initial sit-down with this single was the tremendous amount of lyrical self-control Jay Bang shows off as a rapper. She never sounds like she’s reaching for a verse or recycling something that someone else wrote beforehand; there’s personality to her statements, and it transcends the limitations set forth by everything from the beat to the dueling she engages in with Oz. Cockiness is one thing, but the swagger she has here is off the charts good.
Though the bassline is a lot bigger than it actually needed to be in this mix, I think it works out well for a couple of reasons – the first and most obvious being that it balances the deceptively soft emissions Jay Bang is letting go of at the forefront of the mix. Her words are light but carry weight because of the arrangement framing them, and without the bludgeoning of this bass part in a couple of key moments in the track, I don’t think we would be walking away with anywhere near the same interpretation of what this single is supposed to be conveying aesthetically.
HEAR NOW: https://jaybang.hearnow.com/on-sight
This mix has a seriously brutish way about it, and it complements the style of both Jay Bang’s and Oz the Hitmaker’s deliveries marvelously. When you’ve got the ability both of these players have, it’s alright to get a little forceful with a groove, or even the production formula it’s being filtered through, and in this scenario, we’re being reminded of as much. Experimentation is fine and all, but unless there’s someone with real brains at the helm of the project, it never leads to anything as provocative as this release is.
If what I’ve just listened to in “On Sight” is going to be on par with what Jay Bang is going to be dropping throughout the rest of 2021, I believe she will see more adulation from the media and general public this year than she has in the whole of her career before. She’s turned a corner here and sounds very confident in the artistic trajectory she’s on, but more than that, it feels like she’s more focused in this performance than she’s ever been before (which is no small statement to make given her background and well-rounded discography). I’m game for more from wherever this came from creatively, and I think other rap connoisseurs are going to feel the same.