Where the hell is Jai Paul?
Let’s take it back. Let’s take it way back, way back to 2007. That’s 6 years ago. London-based vibe-producer Jai Paul records a demo track called “BTSTU” in under an hour. It’s uploaded to his myspace (which has since disappeared) and soundcloud in 2010. “BTSTU” gains traction, like a lot of traction. So much so that a bidding war between record labels ensues in 2011, and XL Recordings comes out on top, leading to an edited version releasing in April of that year. So much so that Drake samples the demo into “Dreams Money Can Buy.” Apparently Beyoncé also sampled it but I could literally not give less of a shit tbh. So, in short, “BTSTU” was the introduction of Jai Paul to the music blogosphere, to the world, to the internets, to relevancy. His message? “Don’t fuck with me, don’t fuck with me.”
Fast forward to 2012. How would Jai Paul react to his sudden internet fame experienced in a turbulent 2011? Well, he puts out another track, again in April, a demo titled “Jasmine.” God what an amazing tune. Fans of Paul hope this is just a taste of his anticipated debut album, and of course, they hope that it releases ASAP. Big Boi’s album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is released in December of that year, and the album features some indie talent, interesting for a rap/hip-hop release. These featured artists include Little Dragon, Phantogram, Wavves, and… Jai Paul. Jai is featured along with Little Dragon on track titled “Higher Res.”
2013. Wow, it has now been 3 years since the internets first heard of this guy, and 2 years since Drake da gawd further exposed him, and 1 year since his last official release. At a point in February, the blogosphere discovers a supposed Jai Paul mixtape titled Everlasting, but it is later discovered that it’s just a collection of 10 demos we’ve heard so far in some way, be it leaked or officially released. But wait, there’s more; Noisey makes a prediction that Jai Paul’s highly anticipated debut album is really coming out in April, and then… wtf it actually does? A Bandcamp page is unearthed that appears to be a Jai Paul album download for a mere ₤7. The internet blogosphere got caught up in the excitement without questioning the download’s legitimacy… and after a shitstorm of speculation, the one and only Jai Paul tweet to this day broke the news:
To confirm: demos on bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don't buy. Statement to follow later. Thanks, Jai—
Jai Paul (@jai_paul) April 15, 2013
The nature of the album’s leak is decidedly strange. Let Noisey try to crack the code for you, because I’m not rewriting 3-month old speculation tbh. The “fake” album can still be heard/downloaded (for free) here.
Up to now, we still haven’t heard more from Jai Paul. The mysterious vibe-maker has only conducted one official interview (a minimal one at that), and only a handful of pictures of him seem to come up in a google search. He still only has one tweet, and that tweet appears above. His soundcloud account still only has 3 sounds; “BTSTU” the demo, “BTSTU” the edit, and “Jasmine.” The internet wants more vibes from this dude. The blogosphere wants more vibes from this dude. The media wants more vibes from this dude. The world wants more vibes from this dude. And most importantly, WE want more vibes from this dude.