10 Years in the making
Jai Paul’s Debut NYC Set
Written by: Christopher Chance
In 2011 there was a huge drought for Drake. He hadn’t put out an album in a whole year and the 13-year-old super fan in me was fed up. One day the OVO blog is finally updated with a mysterious new song - Dreams Money Can Buy. The first thing I thought of after hearing it was who the fuck is this guy singing and where is more of him. Fast forward 1 year and the Jai Superfan has been created, his incomplete album “leaks”, He dips off. This is simply not normal. We are left with an unfinished masterpiece, a crazy album cover, and his fucking ID.
I’m not going to bore you all with the Jai Paul origin story, do the research like we did. What I will bore you with though is the experience I had last night, and why it was so important for music and internet culture as a whole.
Upon arrival, I slowly but surely realized this was something different. Coachella was a mix of super fans and random festival goers but nigga this is New York. The home of the super fan, probably the highest population of Paul Institute members in the country. Every single person here knew what they were getting themselves into, it was almost like an Internet nerd prom/family reunion/first date. these were all people I’d probably bumped profile pics with on internet forums. Alumni of Kanyetothe, Reddit, Hypebeast, Disqus comments, they were all there. People that had been friends forever online met for the first time last night. This really made me understand how madeintheurl Jai truly is, and how many people he brought together over the simple fact they were into this ghost of an artist. I genuinely think that some the people that will run the culture this generation were in that room last night. A meeting grounds of sorts, a real nigga party if you will.
The merch line was out of control and I didn’t even attempt to go, but some of our friends copped some items. He had t-shirts and Vinyls. Homie wore my chain while he had on the Coachella shirt this pic kinda hard shout out Rommel for the flick.
(via silkshirtt on ig)
After this we went to find a spot, some white dude tried to get smart with me because I stood in front of his bitch ass he better be glad I have a real job now and the most cult leader performer was doing his first performance. Cause if this was a Nudy show I woulda lost my mind. Jai really made me ignore a privileged white person talking shit. I’m glad I didn’t knock them out, because Jai was gonna do that anyway.
Jai starts at 9:34? Higher Res starts playing, and the gang walk on the stage. AK Paul looked like a Star Wars character in the best way possible. Fabiana and Rocco Palladino, which are fucking Pino Palladino's daughter and son (yes that pino, D’Angelo Pino), grace the stage, alongside their drummer which I do not know the name of but respect so much after this performance. They start jamming and a huge space in the middle of the stage is left empty as they play the somewhat forgotten-about Big Boi collab. Then he appears.
Jai Paul is the ultimate musician because upon seeing him you would never realize he is the musical combination of Michael Jackson, J Dilla, and D’Angelo. This guy with the 2008 haircut, sweatshirt and track pants, steps on stage to a roar of applause. This guy literally is a religious figure to many, and his fan base who has patiently waited for his return was relieved to see that he is NOT a ghost, he’s not a band Miguel made, he’s not a AI, no no no he’s a human. A human that is ready to fuck your mind up by playing the best mursik you ever heard.
One thing I noticed is that this setlist is basically like hearing every song for the first time again. Has there ever been a situation where someone gave us an album we just listened to for YEARS and performs them for the first time in their finished state? It’s surreal, but what isn’t surreal about the Paul brothers? Also, his voice? Absolutely insane. I know his british ass been drinking all of the best teas and elixirs possible because dude legit sounded like an ANGEL. All night had me finna cry in the function. It was also crazy to just hear his vocals clearly. Like overall his vocal performance exceeded my expectations.
The transitions from Good Time into Genevieve really showed me what this album could be if it was finished, but that’s a dream I’m not going to think about lol. Wait did I mention this fucker played new music? Not only did he not flake, but he played a new song that sounded like if Linkin Park made a song for Deus Ex, this is a good thing. I just want to stress how crazy that was to hear new music live from the RNB Jay Electronica. That leads us to BTSTU and Jasmine.
(Click photo to watch video of transition)
Like I said earlier, we have been listening to these songs raving about them for a whole entire decade. Then he fucking plays them live in perfect fashion, everything was on point, no failures, the band sounded just as good as his vocals. It felt like the 2016 finals bro, the good guys won for once. He really said “lets play a older one” (Shitty paraphrase) and played BTSTU. I literally laugh at the thought of me sitting at my dream job typing about the Jai Paul concert I saw that was 15 minutes away from my house. None of this feels real. But it is. Jai Paul grew up with us, and now it’s finally time for him to come back and take what is his.
I was 13 when I first heard, and 25 when I first saw. I highly recommend anyone to see this man live, this isn’t normal music, it’s not normal circumstances, don’t treat this like it’s normal. This goes to show that if it’s good, the wait don’t matter. As long as we get it! We waited, made up every theory, scrolled for hours and typed twice as much. You are the definition of madeintheurl, we ain’t here without you. Hoping to see you again sometime soon..
Thank you so much Paul Institute,
madeintheurl is one of the bredrins.