Daye Jack is a Nigerian-born, ATL-raised, NYU-educated musical wunderkind. On brand new album No Data, Jack introduces himself to listeners via a series of interlude-interactions with Sam, a Siri-styled artificial intelligence. Eventually, his conversations with Sam settle on the album’s theme: For the ineffable things in life, whether it’s “being the coolest mu’fucka in the world” or simply finding “a good girl with a nice smile, and a big booty” and falling in love—there’s no grand formula; there just ain’t No Data.
Coming from an artist who’s just barely old enough to sip legal drinks, No Data displays an astonishing musical breadth. In the mood for electro-funk? Spin the album’s strongest track, “Finish Line”. How about a feel-good party anthem channeling New Edition and Lionel Ritchie? Classic ‘90s acoustic R&B ala Babyface? Look no further than “Need Some Mo’”. Try first single “Casino”.
The timing is right: Jack’s hook-centric songwriting and rapping sounds like a skillful distillation of the Pharrell/Daft Punk/Weeknd formula currently crushing Top 40 radio. But No Data summons worthier comparisons to another stellar debut full of free-form experimentation: that of Frank Ocean’s 2012 debut Channel Orange. If Frank had let Tyler, The Creator loose on half the songs, it might have ended up sounding a lot like No Data does.
Despite the Ocean-sized ambitions on No Data, the songs themselves are a mixed bag. While many great rhymes have been spun about denim-on-females, “Supernatural” is not one of them. The gangsta posturing of “Raw” comes off as contrived rather than hard. And the album’s simplistic appraisals of women—as either unattainable goddesses, supervillains (“Lady Villain”), or A.I. girl Fridays—shows a 21-year-old’s mind at work.
Nevertheless, No Data shows loads of promise. This young gun’s well on his way to becoming a Jack-of-all-trades.
No Data is available now on your favorite streaming service.