Jay Stone's free-association raps sound like the artist's neurons are firing at 100 miles per hour. Full of quirky humor and out-there metaphors, his funky, psychedelic new album Calibration of an Altered Mind dropped last week on Nov. 9. It's the cult Oakland artist's first release since his critically acclaimed 2015 project with Monster Rally, Foreign Pedestrians. To celebrate, Stone performs at Smart Bomb, an experimental, D.I.Y. hip-hop party at the Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland on Nov. 17.
At a time when lyrical hip-hop (in the traditional sense) seems to be going out of style, Stone is an artist who pays close attention to the craft of rhyming. But that's not to say he's overly self-serious, like those who consider themselves among the "last real MCs" tend to be—quite the opposite, actually. His playful verses attest to the elasticity and imaginative possibilities of rhythm and language.
Queens D.Light, Stone's partner who released her own excellent album, Flavor of Green, earlier this year, is featured extensively on Calibration of an Altered Mind. She performs with Stone at Smart Bomb, along with Heru, Demahjiae and DJ Richlo. Details here.