The Hoodlum Ball is a rare, dark comedic hip-hop album produced by music mogul Jonathan Hay. Hay teamed up with Ranna “RX66” Royce for collaborations with The Game, Twista, Riff Raff, Cyhi The Prynce and more. The first single “Pawn Shop” features Eminem’s new artist Conway and went viral online receiving rave reviews.
Vibe Magazine stated, “The potent lyrics on this tear-jerker unearthed some old wounds from my past life with family members and their drug addictions as well as my own poverty.”
“[Jonathan] Hay provides a powerful and emotional hook to the track,” remarked top hip-hop website HotNewHipHop. “It’s a different sound for Conway who typically is heard over more underground, boom bap type beats. This single has a bigger sound to it and also feels like it has the potential for some heavier radio play.”
The main topic of “Pawn Shop” is the real life violent home invasion that Jonathan Hay and his 14 year old daughter were involved in earlier this year. They were duct taped for hours, assaulted with pistols, held at gun point, and robbed. The three suspects Michael Brooks, Louis Edwards Simmons Jr, and Quantez Gibson have been officially charged by the state of Kentucky with two complicity counts of kidnapping and first degree robbery. Brooks and Simmons are currently inmates at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. Gibson is charged with allegedly planning the home invasion. He is a persistent felon who spent over a decade in prison for forgery, robbery, and weapon crimes, and is currently on house arrest while awaiting trial.
This traumatic home invasion inspired Royce to temporarily relocate to Louisville and co-produce and write the LP, while she helped Hay heal and pick up the broken pieces of his life. A musician can hold a listener’s attention by writing songs that capture real-life experiences, which Hay and Royce did with The Hoodlum Ball album. They appear to work nonstop on singles such as “Kylie’s Daddy” that debuted on TMZ and helped launch internet sensation 22 Savage aka Funny Mike. Hay and Royce also worked on “All Alone” with Kevin Pollari, a frequent collaborator of Lil Yachty. Since the home invasion, The Hoodlum Ball producers were involved in five full-length albums which include The Ashamed LP, Second Thoughts, Stories for Sandy, 15 (The Sins of a Father Playlist) and lastly, the LP titled Jazz by Smith and Hay. Jazz includes the hit single “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Iliana Eve and produced by Jonathan Hay and Benny Reid, a redemption of Elvis Presley’s timeless classic.
Comedy is not always the main theme of hip-hop songs, but Hay and Royce have been able to turn their pain into laughter with The Hoodlum Ball. The dark comedy album is part of Smith and Hay’s music catalog, which gained national attention from BET’s original television series One Shot, where label owner Mike Smith starred alongside DJ Khaled, T.I., RZA, Tech N9ne and more.
With all the trouble going on in the world today, it’s nice to escape with headphones and take a moment to laugh at a comedy.