Lay Zhang Changes The Rap Game With ‘Jade’ [Review]

International phenomenon and China’s top pop idol LAY has already caught our attention after his release of “Honey” and now he continues to keep us wanting more with his latest single”Jade.” 

The song “Jade” is the single from Lay’s recent album ‘Jade,’ and is a very interesting fusion of cultures as it introduces traditional Chinese melodies and instruments meshed with a modern trap-rap beat. To me, this is the successful version of what Nicki Minaj was trying to do and missing with her release of “Chun Li.” Check out the MV below and see exactly what I’m talking about!

 

The song has a unique way of creating a double entendre, without the use of risque or explicit meanings. Jade in Chinese is pronounced as ‘Yu’ (玉). Throughout the song, lyrics like “no one can shine like Yu” (Jade) is a great correlation of relating someone to something so elegant and refined as this jewel.

I think the most unique aspect of the song “Jade” is that Lay is not afraid to show his culture. Whether it would be well-received or become popular or not, the song carries a strong representation of Chinese style due to the inclusion of Chinese instrumentals and ritual-like chanting. It keeps the authenticity of the title and promotional concept.

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The song is well-done and the English lyrics were absolutely well-composed (due in part to the help from talented composers Dante Leon, and Adam Halliday) and well-sung for a foreign artist. The song doesn’t go hard in the sense that the lyrics are filled with wit and jaw-dropping disses but it maintains a great flow and each line delivers an outstanding continuation of complimenting someone’s beauty in various ways. The song has a charming way of developing as the lyrics continue to go on due to the growth in overall wordplay such as “She always knows what I want like she’s psychic, you’re a superhero baby let me be your sidekick.” Although it isn’t my personal cup of tea, EXO fans will be happy to not only indulge in Lay’s attention-grabbing vocals but also enjoy that the tone is still familiar and not straying far from his other pieces like “Honey.”

 

I can agree with other reviews already released online as some stated, “The song instantly grabs your attention, opening with dynamic instrumentals before going into a mesmerizing “pop meets urban” rhythmic flow and passionate vocals. The sound strongly holds a backbone in modern hip-hop and ties into a love story in today’s world. Jade, tells a story that spans a thousand years, as LAY reminisces the tale of a beautiful girl. She is like a precious “Jade”, crystal clear, staunch and unyielding, with a unique luster. She embodies the ancient Chinese saying of “Rather a shattered vessel of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery.” Lay’s “Jade” is the essence of pop meets urban with a cultural twist that I genuinely do enjoy despite it not being a go-to on my playlist. With this said, I can still offer a generous score to Lay for his new release!

Track Production…..6

Song Concept………8

Composition……………8

TRACK SCORE: 7.5

Altogether, the soul of China has met and blended peacefully with the modern-pop of Western rap music. Although it barely has a mix of Mandarin lyrics, the sound is there and instrumentals pay homage without being too distracting. The genuine style presented in “Jade” makes for a song that Lay himself alongside other Chinese fans can be proud of. Hopefully, the rest of his album can also deliver! Stay tuned for more updates from us and Lay! What did you think of “Jade”? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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