I mostly sat out the hoopla having to do with the first tracked “leaked” from Jay-Z’s forthcoming Kingdom Come because a) I didn’t really give a shit one way or the other, and b) sometimes I come up with the ideas for these posts days in advance; it can be difficult for me to have to go and write about something else at the last minute. Why ditch my story on ’80s baby wealth strategies and risk having to call in at the BGM just to write about some wack shit like “Show Me What You Got?”
This new one’s better, if not by a whole lot. Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on this mess at some point or another.
Obviously the first issue that needs to be addressed is Jay-Z sampling random-ass pop rap records. Is Kingdom Come meant to be some sort of bizarre concept album where Jay-Z raps over all of the top pop rap records from yesteryear? What’s next, Jay-Z comparing himself to Michael Jordan over the beat from “Ice Ice Baby?” Jay-Z waxing rhapsodic about scoring with Rihanna (which is certainly understandable) to the tune of Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison?”
In case your computer is incapable of streaming audio (like if you were reading this on your break at Taco Bell), the title track from Kingdom Come incorporates a sample from Rick James’ 1981 classic “Super Freak,” i.e. the same track MC Hammer wantonly pilfered for “U Can’t Touch This,” arguably the biggest pop rap record evar. And you’ll recall that the aforementioned “Show Me What You Got” used the same sample as Wreckx ‘N Effect’s “Rump Shaker.”
The thing about “Kingdom Come” is that it doesn’t sound especially different from the Black Album’s “Public Service Announcement,” which itself was a veritable remake of some long lost post-Enta da Stage Black Moon record. The first few seconds of it sounds exactly the same, while the rest of it sounds more or less the same, save a few Rick James-isms here and there. But once you get past the novelty of sampling “Super Freak” at this stage, this just sounds like the same old shit to me.
Honestly, I think it might have actually been cooler if Jay just rhymed over a straight loop of “Super Freak” like MC Hammer did 16 years ago. Imagine how bugged out that shit would’ve been. And of course people would buy it anyway (and in some cases claim it was brilliant) just because Jay did it, just like a bunch of dudes ran out and copped “button-up” shirts (actually button-down shirts) after “Change Clothes” – a song that hardly anyone even likes.
But I guess people can be sheep like that.