There’s a new Hip Hop group in town, and they’re known as Fly By Knight. While the name may be new to you, some of the players are not. The brainchild of Just Jay, a producer, engineer and studio owner who has worked with members of Wu-Tang Clan, Hieroglyphics, Tha Alkaholiks and many other renown Rap and Hip Hop musicians, the Fly By Knight duo has something new to say. With beats by Just Jay, rhymes from group member Knight Shift, and a guest appearance from the Hiero-affiliated ColdShowda of Chos3n Few, Fly By Knight is going back to the roots of Hip Hop, providing a sound producer Just Jay describes as “honest music from the heart. Real music – not rushed – something like the missing link from where Hip Hop came from.”
With access to major and indie MCs and rappers at his fingertips, Just Jay decided to go with MC Knight Shift when creating this duo rather than selecting a more established artist. “It’s about talent,” explains Just Jay. “Honestly I picked Knight Shift because I felt he was too nice for the world not to hear him. I did everything I could to contribute to getting him out there with no challenges or barriers, and having him be heard correctly.” The recording process was natural and organic, leading up to the due being solidified as a group. “He sat in the studio from the very beginning from picking samples, to writing while I made the beats,” Just Jay expounds.
According to Knight Shift, who met Just Jay when his usual recording studio was booked and he ended up recording at Jay’s Oakland studio, the recording process for Fly By Knight is reminiscent of the real “Old-School ‘in studio style” making this album an affair to remember when set alongside albums recorded via email and download. “We’d go through some funky and soulful samples then pick a song,” recalls Knight Shift. “Just Jay would chop it up and I’d write right there in the studio to the bare bones of the track. When I was finishing writing we’d record and I’d adjust my flow to the newly completed version of the beat.” Keep your ears wide open and you’ll hear flecks of Knight Shift’s musical and lyrical influences on this album, which range from Sean Price to Miles Davis, from MF DOOM to David Axelrod, and from Freddie Gibbs to Sylvia Robinson.
So out of the hundreds of albums dropping this year, why should you check for a nascent group like Fly By Knight? According to MC Knight Shift, the answer is simple. “Music lovers should check for this album because it plays like a savory small plate accompanying whatever buzz life’s barkeep slides your way, with each replay becoming dessert. I bake all my songs with love.”