They Forgot – [Jay Montana]

Alabama’s brightest shining diamond in the rough Jay Montana is back with another mixtape after blessing Mobile with a string of three projects, Not A Rapper 2, B4DACHECK, and The Vulture, that will almost certainly go down as underground classics on America’s soulful Third Coast and might as well be canon concerning the country-fried sound coming out of his city, which is derivative of the styles of NoCap and his Montana’s frequent collaborator Rylo Rodriguez. Montana’s new mixtape They Forgot is his longest project yet at twenty-songs, ample space for him to reveal the many new wrinkles to his sound he has added since The Vulture this past fall.

He opens the project with his emotional and introspective track “Love Serious” where he unpacks the merits of both love from the streets and from women who wish to take advantage of his position and trick him out of his spot, explaining that he takes all affection equally seriously and equally inquisitively. From there the project flows into the raw and emotional track “BloodShed” where Montana flexes his broadening vocal range and unpacks the dangers of life in the street and the curse one puts on themselves when dedicating themselves to revenge, rendering his mind useless as he battles the feelings of aggression and lust for bloodshed. Next comes “Cartel” a happier, bouncier track with production courtesy of Mobile’s own Al’Geno who can be credited as much as anyone when attributing someone with having created the contemporary ‘Mobile-sound’ if you will. Montana shows both his humor as well as his clever lyrical ability, making light of some of the tribulations he currently faces in the street while reminding you that his life is not a game and he never allows himself to be played. The first feature on the project comes from his best friend and increasingly frequent collaborator Monie Luwopp whose extra-thick southern-drawl lands sweetly over the instrumental which is powered by a breezy acoustic guitar which suits both of them perfectly. “You The Type” is a track his fans have been waiting for for months now after being one of the most popular snippets leading up to the project featuring a playful delivery from Montana over a Kabo produced instrumental which sets a rousing backdrop for Montana to glide across. His song “Go Wop” still is southern from the beat’s bounce to his distinct charismatic drawl and shows how he differs from his musical peers, putting a happier, upbeat spin on a sound that often heads down a downtrodden road.

Jay Montana’s swagger is as undeniable as his dense catalog and few artists at his age have managed to put together such a comprehensive and dynamic assortment of songs with as much lyrical promise or vocal versatility. The second and final feature on the project comes from Nashville’s Almighty Beezy who joins Montana over AyoMuffYouGoingUp production who proved to be on the most pleasant surprises on the project as there are few producers who understand the balance of bounce and twang that Jay aims for. “Free 500” is one of the most personal songs off of They Forgot as Jay laments the arrest of his younger brother that has driven much of the sorrow behind the mixtape and also was interesting as Jay for the first time selected an instrumental with an electric guitar rather than an acoustic one. If you didn’t enjoy that though you didn’t have to wait long for him to return back to his country-esque roots with his track “Home Visit” where he clamors over a stripped back instrumental with nothing but a brief and simple drum pattern over a melancholy guitar loop which sounds like it could’ve been a George Strait interlude. Perhaps the biggest artistic stretch Jay Montana has ever undertaken was the title track and outro “They Forgot” where Muff pits Montana on what can only be described as a hyperpop beat, putting Montana over a bright, bubbly instrumental where he unveils a completely new flow without missing a beat on what was surely a stretch for him stylistically.