He just couldn’t help it. “Back like Jordan, wearing the #45,” President S. Carter simply “can’t leave rap alone”-and “the game needs” him. When the Mike Jordan of Rap came back to the game, everyone asked the same question: Will it be the ’97 Mike Jordan or the ’01 Mike?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, from what I can gather you can dust off your Jordan VII’s because those are the ones that best seem to fit this MJ of rap comeback.
The album started off hard and finished even harder. Jay-Z the listener on the trip that is his life while John Legend mans the chorus on Kanye West produced “Do You Want to Ride.” While the song is an interestingly crafted tune, it isn’t the hood banger that he and Kanye have been known to create when they fuse their talents together.
And of course it wouldn’t be a hip-hop album without a Neptune’s track. “Anything” is just what you’d expect from a Neptune’s produced track. While this is the first time we’ve heard a Jay-Z and Usher song, true Jay-Z fans will enjoy giving it a listen.
But of course the big talk of the album was the rumored Jay-Z and Dr. Dre collaborations. I must say that it lived up to its expectations.
The first song, “Lost Ones,” was hot to death. It was as personal as Jigga man has ever been. He spoke his feelings about Beyonce, the death of his nephew and of course his estranged business partner, Dame Dash.
Over a mellow beat and piano keys, Jay spit, “I heard muthaf*ckas saying they made Hov made Hov say ok, well, make another Hov they wasn’t playing they day role so we parted ways like Ben and J. Lo shoulda been did it, but I been in a daze though I put friends over business at the end of the day though.”
“Minority Report” was even better than “Lost Ones” because it made the whole Katrina situation into a heartfelt song that we all can relate to. On other Dre tracks like “30 Something” Jay-Z tells us that 30 is the new 20. Lyrically Jay is still as nasty as can be. Even on the Chris Martin produced “Beach Chair,” Jay is incredibly creative on a non-hip-hop beat.
For all concerned this album is just like any other Jay-Z album: a masterpiece.