New York rapper Jay Critch began writing rhymes when he was in grade school, and he was making music full-time by the end of his teenage years. High-profile collaborations with better-known rappers Rich the Kid and PnB Rock brought him more attention, and his charismatic, decidedly East Coast style helped his steady stream of solo singles rise in popularity. Critch’s music existed mostly in the form of singles and remixes for the first few years of his career, until his debut studio album, Hood Favorite, was released in late 2018.
Jay Critch was born in the Clinton Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1997. Just barely out of his teens, Critch began posting his gritty, trap-inflected, and sometimes lo-fi tracks online in 2016. His first major breakthrough was with a song called “Did It Again,” which was originally released in 2016 but reworked in early 2017 to include cameo verses from new fan Rich the Kid. The song went viral, with its accompanying video being viewed over a million times in the first week of its release. That year, Critch also signed to Rich the Kid’s label Rich Forever, contributing to every song on the label’s showcase mixtape Rich Forever 3. 2017 also saw the release of “Okay Fine,” a collaborative single between Critch and PnB Rock that caught the attention of millions.
Critch’s profile expanded from there with the steady release of various singles and videos, including viral tracks like “Fashion” and “Thousand Ways.” In 2018, debut album Hood Favorite arrived; the 12-song offering featured the single “Ego” along with contributions from Offset, Fabolous, and French Montana. ~ Fred Thomas