Monday, November 20, 2006

Death of a Dynasty

Death of a Dynasty
Review of Jay-Z's Kingdom Come

By R.L. (desperately fabulous contributor)

How do you tell the greatest of all time, It's time ? That's the question everyone at Def Jam studios is asking themselves today. How do you tell the person with whom you grew up listening to that it's time to close up shop? It seems like only yesterday I was in my bedroom listening to ‘Reasonable Doubt’. And even if I didn't know how much money a "half a brick" was I knew that since Jay-z said it, it had to be a lot. Even as a young man I understood Jay-Z was different. His music had a way of taking you to the place where he needed you to be to enable you to understand his lyrics. Sadly, this same advantage has now become his biggest downfall. Kingdom Come one of Rap's most anticipated albums gives us an in-depth look into the world of the new and improved Jay-Z.

The Prelude
Like most Jay-z Albums he introduces himself back to the public and let's us all know the King is back. One of the most interesting things he raps about is how he sold drugs back when selling drugs actually meant something. And for those of us who grew up in the 80's, back then selling drugs was a big deal!!!!!

Oh My God
On this track Jay-Z gives us some of that old Jay we all love and wanna see again. He seems to have a hard time balancing out his new life and his old life on this one .Producer 'Just Blaze' gives him a 'one of a kind beat' like so many of Jay's classic albums.

Kingdom Come
This song right here sounds like that 96'97 Jay-Z. He does a great job of delivering those punch lines and he carries the beat on this one. The B-side single to 'Show Me What You Got', shows us that Jay can still spit a hot 16 when need be.

Show Me What You Got
2 years off and this is all you could come up with? Oh my bad, did I just say that out loud? The lead single on this album Jay gives us what every Jay single does: something to shake our booty to at the club. He could have re-released "I just wanna love you" and gotten the same response.

Lost Ones
Now here is where the album gets interesting????? After being tight lip about what was going on with the Roc-a-fella family. Jay-Z raps about how his former business partner’s attitude was the reason for their separation. If that's not enough, in the second verse he raps about his relationship with Beyonce. If nothing else this song is worth listening to, just for those two verses.

Do you wanna ride
In another weird twist Jay-Z takes us through the prison system as he talks to a close friend. I love the beat (Produced by Kanye West) and the chorus sung by John Legend and for a second you almost get the feeling that it's Jay-Z rapping on their song and not Vice Versa. The second verse stands out the most on this one.

30 Something
First off Dr. Dre is a probably the only person near 50 years old who the music game still needs. Dr.Dre does his thing on this beat & Jay tries to keep up but doesn't do a good job. I hate to say this but it’s almost like the beat is to young for Jay-Z. Overall the concept is cool but Dre and Jay just don't connect on this one.

I made it
My sister summed this song up, when she said that it sounds like ‘Dear mama 2006’. Jay-z does something every black male does when they get some money "Thank ya mama" Overall the song loses interest about minute in and does very little to get you back.

On paper Pharrell, Usher and Jay-Z should make for a classic record right? Wrong, this song does nothing at all to keep me from hitting the skip button. All I can say is, I hope Jay got a discount from Pharrell and Usher because this song is horrible.

You ever heard the phrase "pussy whip"? Well, that's exactly why this song is on the album. It seems that Beyonce liked the song and told Jay the track should be on his album. Beyonce does a pretty good job on the chorus, but there's just no helping this song.

The beat to this song is average and in the past these are the beats Jay-Z would make his own. Jay almost sounds like he laid these lyrics down before picking a beat because they don't really match up. Jay-Z talks about some of the rumors surrounding him so that helps out his last verse.

Dig A hole

Finally it's here!!! The old Jay-Z makes an appearance to discuss his former label mates and enemies. The beat is crazy and the guy on the chorus makes a name for himself. I never thought I would say this but Jay-z might wanna stick to diss records. ‘Dig A hole’ will definitely have the streets buzzinnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

Minority report
Once again Jay-Z and Ne-yo hit record right? Wrong jay-z takes us back to Katrina for this record. Like with I made it, I see what he's trying to do but he doesn't do a good job of translating that into good music. And the people on the intro are far more interesting than anything Jay says on the track.

Beach Chair
Probably one of the biggest surprises has to be this. Who would have thought Jay-z would have to get a guy from Coldplay to make him a beat.. Jay-C does a good job of re-connecting to his audience on this one.

Jay-z should have come a lot stronger, with that being said “it is what it is”. Even though Jay-z shows signs of the old Jay, it seems like the Jay-z we loved (Jigga)is a thing of the past.


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