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The Mike Jordan of recordin’

There’s plenty of other interesting shit going on in hip-hop today, but today’s the day the new Jay-Z album comes out, so that’s all going to have to take a back seat[1]. I already gave it the once over on my own site, but I figured I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it the track-by-track treatment here as well.

Since then, I’ve listened to it a few more times to make sure there wasn’t anything about it that I was missing, like when I realized how much I like New Miserable Experience. I’ve also had the pleasure of playing it for a few of the d-bags I bootleg CDs for (no Lance Rivera) and watching that face they make when “Anything” comes on.

In fact, I don’t know that there’s anything I can say about Kingdom Come that could sum up the way I feel about it better than watching the utter sense of disappointment that washes over people’s faces when they realize how not very good this is. But I don’t want to tip my hand too early in the review, so. . . um, yeah.

The Prelude. I like this better than most of the rest of the tracks on here, but it’s still pretty weak as far as Jay intros are concerned. The Dynasty, anyone? That’s the thing about this album: a lot of it’s not that bad, but it’s still the worst shit he’s ever done, Best of Both Worlds excepted.

Oh My God. Just Blaze at his most bombastic. In a bad way, of course. It reminds me of “Hovi Baby” from Blueprint 2 (which had its moments), but it’s way more grating. I don’t know that Jay could’ve saved this beat if he wanted to, but what’s with all the My Chemical Romance references? I’m sorry, that’s just gay.

Kingdom Come. Just Blaze’s flip of Rick James’ “Superfreak” is losing its novelty for me, but it might still be the best beat on here anyway. Jay’s verses are among his most inspired for this album, which I realize is not saying a whole lot, but still.

Show Me What You Got. I don’t know anyone who likes this. I don’t even think I’d like the original version of “Shaft in Africa” if I heard it. Why at least three separate producers all thought this was going to be a good idea at once is beyond me. Also: “Hands up and wave, wave, wave” = teh ghey.

Lost Ones. While there’s not a whole lot to it, this Dre beat has grown on me a bit in the past couple of weeks. He’s just good like that. No Weezy F Baby. The nails-on-chalkboard chorus? Not so much. Jay’s whiny-ass lyrics? Nope, not them either. Sorry, I’m a champion.

Do U Wanna Ride. One of the better things Kanye has done recently, even if the beat and the chorus don’t seem to match Jay’s actual lyrics very well. Is it just me, or does it seem like John Legend could just as easily be singing to a chick – or, in his case, a guy? No John Legend.

30 Something. If 30 is the new 20, then what’s 20? The new 10? Also, it’s not like Jay’s gonna be in his 30s for much longer anyway. Defining your adulthood, such as it is, by what kind of watch you wear = silly bullshit.

I Made It. Jay’s self-congratulatory dear mama rap has got some nasty oedipal overtones, not unlike that time he rapped about his mom and dad fucking under a sycamore tree.

Anything. To be sure, Jay’s made his share of shit sandwiches going all the way back to the days of In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. That said, this might be the least enjoyable of them all. Has Jay gotten too old to enjoy himself in a strip club? He might need to holler at Irv Gotti.

Hollywood. A Beyonce song right in the middle of a Jay album. And not even a good one. “Bonnie & Clyde ’03″ never sounded better by comparison.

Trouble. Another one of the Dre beats that I kinda dismissed before. Too bad Jay’s lyrics here are just teh ghey.

Dig A Hole.
A real mess of a Cam’ron diss track, with one of the shittier of Swizz Beatz recent works as well as. . . wait for it, an R&B chorus?

Minority Report. Presumably a track Jay made to drum up publicity for the fact that he donated $1 million for Katrina relief. Otherwise, why even mention it? And if Jay never did this whisper rap shit again, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

Beach Chair. According to the world’s most accurate encyclopedia, this track is the work of Dr. Dre as well as the dude from Coldplay. I know some of you d-bags love this, but black people who don’t have any frame of reference wrt white music like all kinds of goofy shit.

Final Thoughts: Worst Jay-Z album evar. Don’t waste your money.

[1] One thing I probably should mention is that Cam’ron just put a track out going at Jay. None of Cam’s diss records ever really do it for me, but the bar has been set so low recently that this can’t help but add to the feeling that Jay lost, as far as I’m concerned.

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