Jai Carey
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Jai Carey

Columbus, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

Columbus, OH | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Hip Hop Spoken Word


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"LOCAL ROUNDUP: Midas Touch, Jai Carey, Fumes, Ben the Rapper"

Midas Touch improves; Jai Carey remains great
By Wes Flexner

"The rapper whose new album I had a lot less skepticism about is Jai Carey. The Columbus emcee has won the Columbus Hip Hop Expo battle eight times, and the last time I saw him rap, in March, he won the Bustown Hip Hop Clinic battle.

Carey’s latest release, Fire Sale, starts off with “The Plot,” which begins with a grim a cappella and settles into a classical loop and some low-budget drums. “Purple Skies,” which ends with a poem by Barbara Fant, has a similarly dark but hopeful aura.

The next song, “Angry Bird,” is a tale of disgruntled women spun over a synth bass line that, on the whole, sounds like a D12 album cut. The ominous but cocky “The Greatest Story Ever Told” follows this.

“Face Down” flips DJ Assault’s “Ass and Titties” with 2 Live Crew into a mid-tempo hardcore hip-hop song. It features Te Mo of One Hood and Mz Lita. This is followed by the much smoother sex song “The Head Game,” featuring Kim Joyce.

Fire Sale ends with the raw posse cut “Robbery,” which guests Trillis and Scopes, and then a moody double-time track featuring Breath of Fresh Heir.

The sum total is a solid EP that is something like a mixture of Spitball and Jedi Mind Tricks."

- The Other Paper

"Well-timed diss wins Bustown rap contest"

"The final four freestyle contestants were announced, and a nasaly kid named Random who sounded like either Asher Roth or local legend Andrew Bagadonuts made quick work of a rapper whose name I didn’t catch. This lined up Random with Jai Carey, a stout emcee who won the Columbus Hip Hop Expo battle last week.

After they were announced, neither of the finalists immediately dissed each other. Instead, they spontaneously took advantage of the energetic backing band, which consisted of members of MojoFlo. Both emcees perfectly sequenced their rapid-fire raps over the horns, drums and guitars.

After about five minutes of this, Jai Carey finally dissed Random. I think it caught Random off guard, and he retaliated somewhat meekly. The two emcees exchanged more disses, but the judges eventually named Carey the winner.

The night culminated with at least a dozen rappers ciphering over the live band. For this Bustown hip-hop head, the entire event was a nice consolation prize for the Buckeye loss."
Wes Flexner - www.theotherpaper.com

"Sensory Overload: Tiny House Envisions having a Large Roof"

By Andy Downing
From the April 7, 2016 edition
Tiny House envisions having a large roof.

The newborn music collective, which celebrated its launch with a concert at Big Room Bar on a recent Wednesday, is designed to “support and empower musicians, venues, and music organizations in Columbus by gathering resources, creating opportunities for collaboration, and encouraging interconnectivity in the scene,” according to its mission statement.

In more practical terms, the four-person collective behind the launch hopes to make the local music scene “easier [to navigate], better and more connected,” as expressed during a between-set Q&A. It hopes to accomplish this in a variety of ways, including launching a website that provides resources for local musicians (tinyhousemusic.org), hosting a series of free, informal panels covering topics like booking and licensing, and by “putting people onstage who wouldn’t normally be on a stage together,” said Stephanie Ewen, one of the collective’s founders.

This scene-building, big-roof approach was on full display in an evening that featured a set of drone-folk songs courtesy of Field Sleeper, cathartic rhymes from self-proclaimed “comic book nerd” Jai Carey and a raucous closing turn from Trachete, a four-musician crew whose songs could have doubled as the soundtrack to a yet-to-be-filmed grindhouse movie from director Quentin Tarantino.

Carey, for one, is a charismatic MC capable of traversing every place from the gutters (one song explored the dynamic of explaining death to a child) to the cosmos. “I ain’t shooting for the stars/ I’m aiming for far-away galaxies,” he exclaimed on another tune. On one song, the love-struck rapper struggled to find the right way to convey the emotions filling his chest — “I don’t have the words to send through the [telephone] receiver,” he sighed — though it did little to staunch the flow of syllables streaming from his mouth.

Trachete followed with a set of trashy, glam-punk stompers that glittered like the matching red, bedazzled jumpsuits worn by the four bandmates. At times, lyrics could be difficult to hear amid the musical clatter, but those that were audible tended to mirror fighting words heard shouted through thin apartment walls, “take it out on you!” and “leave me alone!” among them.

It was the sole sign of discord on a night predicated on community building — and an explosive capper to a concert designed to introduce Tiny House to the world at large - Columbus Alive

"Concert preview: Rapper Jai Carey in sharp form on heartfelt, human Project Housing EP"

By Andy Downing
From the November 26, 2015 edition
Jai Carey kicks off The Project Housing EP with a challenge to himself, stating, “I hope my pencil is sharp enough when I’m writing this.”

He needn’t have worried. With seven tracks clocking in at a lean 28 minutes, the rapper’s latest effort is honed to a fine point, with nary a wasted syllable or breath present.

According to Carey, who recently released the mini-album free online via BandCamp and DatPiff, this is a bit of a shift from his last project, Fire Sale, from 2012, which he described as “super-lyrical,” packed with dense internal rhymes and deeply layered concepts (the EP doubled as an allegorical attack on modern hip-hop).

“I didn’t worry about [Fire Sale] being relatable,” said Carey, 34, who started writing Project Housing when he returned to his birthplace of Newburgh, New York, in November 2014 to help care for his grandmother in the months before she died (Carey has called Columbus home since 1989). “But with this new project I was like, ‘I have to do this for me, and I’m just going to speak the way it needs to be spoken at the moment.’”

As a result, the MC pares back some of his usual lyrical flash, delivering his words in a more conversational, everyman cadence. The subject matter is similarly grounded, rooted in daily realities that range from minor inconveniences (on “Social Networth” he refrains from posting to social media sites while on the clock at work) to legitimate life-or-death struggles. Witness “Famous Last Words,” in which Carey wrestles with a depression so dark and enveloping that it leads to suicidal thoughts and a lingering sense he’s been abandoned by both family and faith.

“And I’m talking to God, but his response is silence,” he confesses, delivering his pleas atop a steady trickle of piano and a warm sonic crackle reminiscent of a vinyl record spinning on the turntable.

The song, like every track here, has a basis in reality, taking shape in the weeks after Carey’s grandmother — a key figure in his life growing up — died in January following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“I was going through heavy depression … and I almost stopped working on the project completely because of the mind state I was in, like, ‘I can’t do this right now,’” the rapper said. “There were times I had suicidal thoughts. In September, I had a show with 8 Bit Genetic Code, which was the band I was part of. We were going to Miami University to open for [Columbus rapper] Illogic, and I was sitting there envisioning throwing myself out of the car.

“Everybody is always like, ‘Suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do,’ but unless you’re there you can’t understand what’s going on. I did this song [to help raise] awareness, so people can be like, ‘This is going to help me because I understand what he’s going through, and he made it out of it.’”

Carey credits his survival, in part, to his music, which has functioned as a form of release since he started writing his first rhymes at 16. It helped, of course, that his mother and grandmother, who logged time as a teacher and a librarian, respectively, helped instill him with a fondness for language that led him to craft his first poems at the age of 12.

“When we got in trouble we were reading dictionaries,” laughed Carey, who, along with a brother, two sisters and an adopted brother, was raised largely by his mother (“I don’t really have a lot to do with my dad,” he said bluntly). “[My mom] was big on making sure we read and that we knew what was going on [in the world] around us.”

In high school, the burgeoning MC, who initially gravitated toward freestyle — “With writing … every word has its place on the beat and every syllable needs to fit, but freestyle is my meditation [because] you can just zone out and go,” he said — would apply this skillset to his studies, spinning elaborate verses about political and social events in order to absorb and retain the material taught in his political science class. In a way, this trend has continued into adulthood, with Carey crafting songs as a means of understanding both his surroundings and his place in them.

“That’s how I know how to express myself,” he said. “‘Let’s sit down and talk.’ Nah, I’ll just put it in a song and call it a day.”

It’s an approach that took on even deeper importance on Project Housing, with Carey penning deeply felt rhymes that helped him gradually claw his way back from the brink.

“I had to retreat to try and get my mind right,” he said of the months-long writing and recording process, which finally wrapped up in June. “It’s an everyday struggle, and I know there’s still work that needs to be done. But speaking for today, today’s a good day. Right now, I’m good.” - Columbus Alive

"Concert preview: Powerfest vs. Polar Showcase: Two big hip-hop shows, one Sunday night"

By Chris DeVille
From the August 29, 2013 edition

It’s Labor Day weekend, so Sunday isn’t a school night — as if the prospect of work or class the next morning would keep Columbus hip-hop heads from checking one of the big rap shows going down Sept. 1.

There’s a difference in scale, for sure: Powerfest, FMhip-hop and R&B bastion Power 107.5’s annual shindig at LC Pavilion, features several nationally known stars and benefits from wall-to-wall exposure on one of the city’s most popular radio stations. On the other hand, DJ and producer J. Rawls’ second annual Polar Showcasean underground legend and a lineup stacked withmostly locals, and ilacks the promotional muscle of Black Planet Radio affiliate. It’s grassroots!

Still, that’s two highly notable choices for lovers of beats, rhymes and life. Let’s compare.

Headliner: Powerfest headlinerB.o.B. borrowed his name from arguably the greatest Outkast single of all time, but he lacks a single iota of that group’s fundamentally astonishing, boundary-pushing brilliance. In contrast, Masta Ace of the legendary Juice Cre — a Brownsville bruiser whose wordplay inspired Eminem among many others — tops the Polar Showcase bill Your average 2013 rap fan is more likely to recognize songs from B.o.B.’s set, though; he’s got some pop power behind him (“Airplanes,” anybody?).

Local appeal:Powerfest performers Machine Gun Kelly and Ray Jr. hail from Cleveland and have climbed higher in the music biz than any of the Columbus talent on the Polar Showcase. But that Columbus talent? Mighty talented! P. Blackk is rightfully universally beloved;The 3rd has been doing it (and doing it well) for years; S.P.I.R.I.T. has been doing so for even more years. Jai Carey PATH are promising young talents.

Other big names: Neither Ace Hood orSevyn Streeter of Powerfest is a star, per se, but both have some decent radio hits to their name, most notably Hood’s powerhouse Future/Rick Ross collabo “Bugatti.”Wordsworth, a freestyle master and a member of eMC with Masta Ace, leads the supporting talent at Polar Showcase.

Price: Hard to beat the Polar Showcase price: free for the afternoon, $10 for the late show with Masta Ace, Wordsworth and S.P.I.R.I.T. Powerfest will cost you $32.50 for lawn or $52.50 for pit, and prices go up by $10 Friday.

Venue: Double Happiness is one of the tiniest performance spaces in Columbus. LC Pavilion is one of the largest. Both settings can produce magic moments. - Columbus Alive


2001 Mpact Players self titled independent release

2004 Cosmic Cookie compilation vol.3 released independently

2005 Infirmary Unit “Palladium” ep released independently through Breath of Fresh Heir

2006 Epochdemic Seraphic “Godz.gif_t” LP released independently through Breath of
Fresh Heir

2010 Jai Carey a.k.a. Epochdemic Seraphic- “the_reality_show”LP through A Breath of Fresh Heir

2012-Krayzie Bone and Big Heff present "Cleveland is the City, Ohio is the State" MIx Tape

2012- Dust Attics Rap Star Mix Tape

2012- November Fire Sale Ep

2015- Project Housing FreEP

Numerous BHB Mix Tapes

Numerous DJ Krate Digga Sound Champs Mix Tapes



Jai Carey is an emcee that resides in Columbus, Ohio. An 8 time Ohio Hip Hop Expo Emcee battle champion, 7 time Ohio Hip Hop Award nominee (including 3 nominations for best lyricist and 2 best performer nominations) 2 time Midwest Freestyle Clinic Champion, Jai has gathered accolades through out Ohio. A seasoned performer, Jai has incorporated off the top freestyle with an energetic live performance to give audiences a one of a kind experience. Using a range of highly lyrical songs mixed with radio playable content, Jai creates a blend of Old school hip hop nostalgia with new age delivery to provide audiences of all ages a great time.   

Band Members