In the music industry, it’s rare for an artist to become as popular as Jay Electronica without releasing a full-length album backed by a major recording label. Dubbed “The Living Urban Legend” by fans and followers alike, Jay Electronica’s untitled project, in production in London where he currently resides, has long been on the minds and lips of industry insiders and heavyweights.
At issue now is whether or not the ramifications of Electronica’s involvement in the break up of the marriage of two of England’s wealthiest socialites will stymie his enterprise.
Born Timothy Elpadaro Thedford, Jay Electronica, was raised in the Magnolia Housing Projects of New Orleans. His rap career was inspired by witnessing, at the age of 19, a family member who was involved in rhyming. The motivation to follow this calling rescued him from entrapment in his crime-infested surroundings, and even enabled him to overcome a period of homelessness.
By 2008, he was one of the most talked-about new artists on the rap scene, and by 2010 he had become a member of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. It was the first time he had been signed to a label.
Today, Electronica’s name is all over the news wires for reasons other than his musical prowess. On June 2, the artist was cited as the catalyst in marital split of Ben Goldsmith, producer of the acclaimed West Indies cricket team documentary, “Fire in Babylon, and banking heiress Kate Rothschild, owner of a record label.
Goldsmith reportedly confronted his wife after discovering multiple messages she exchanged with Electronica that appeared to go beyond the parameters of business. A Scotland Yard spokesman said the police were called to the Goldsmiths’ Kensington home last Wednesday in response to reports of a domestic disturbance. A man identified as Goldsmith was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and taken to a West London police station, where he “later accepted a caution,” the spokesman said.
Rothschild had allegedly confessed to an extramarital affair during her argument with Goldsmith, naming Electronica as her lover. Goldsmith has since left England and currently resides with friends in Italy. He reportedly plans to file for divorce on grounds of adultery.
No stranger to press-covered relationships, Electronica was also at one point paired with Grammy award-winning artist Erykah Badu. The relationship yielded their now three-year-old daughter, Mars Merkaba Thedford.
Will this new hiccup handicap Electronica’s progress in the music market? Hardly. Jay-Z suggested in a recent MTV interview. “I love…and want to support his energy. He operates at his own time…As a lyricist, he’s almost scary. He’s scary good.”