For the sake of not working too hard on a Friday afternoon, because I’m black, here’s five quick thoughts on the new song by Jay-Z, “Run This Town,” featuring Kanye and Rihanna.
1) I thought Jay-Z was against autotune.
Rihanna might not be using that same effect T-Pain uses, where it sounds like he’s a computer, but there’s probably some sort of correction on her vocals. It’s just hard to tell, because you hardly ever hear her real singing voice, which probably sounds like crap. Not to let you fruits in on more than you need to know about me, but there was a period of about two weeks back in like 2002 when I thought Avril Lavigne was a pretty good singer. When I was in college, that song “Complicated” would come on the radio in the lunch room once a day for like two years straight, when they weren’t listening to the country station. And I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t my least favorite song. Then I read somewhere that she was singing through some program that could make any ol’ bum off the street sound decent. It was the same program J-Lo used to use, back when she was singing. Anyway, this just goes back to what I was saying about Jay-Z not being in any position to act as the great defender of real hip-hop.
2) It’s a good thing T.I. is in the joint.
That last T.I. album, Paper Trail, which really is a credit to its region, spent something like half of last year near the top of the Billboard charts, primarily on account of singles like “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life.” This new Jay-Z song sounds like a half-assed cross between the two of them. Coincidence? Nigga, please! Jay-Z might be the most cynical person I’m aware of, period. He saw how well those T.I. songs did and he had Kanye craft him a knock-off version. That might even be why Blueprint 3 got pushed back from last fall to 9/11 of this year. He figured he’d wait until T.I. was in the pokey, where he couldn’t complain about Jay ripping him off, or, better yet, come up with his own, superior version of “Run This Town.” This is just like when Bill Hicks died and Denis Leary put out an album with several of his jokes on it and had the sheer balls to call it No Cure for Cancer. At least he had a sense of humor about it.
3) Doug Morris won.
I’m listening to Jay-Z rap, poorly, about how he’s down $5 million, from his dice game with tall Israeli Doug Morris, and I’m wondering if the main reason he gave him $5 million in the first place is so he could rap about it. Why else would he pay $5 million just so he could take his album to the label down the block? If there was a good explanation, you’d think he would have included it in this song, since he went out of his way to mention it in the first place. But it sounds like he just wants us to be impressed by the fact that he had $5 million to lose in a dice game. Um, okay. Also, the fact that this song sucks balls makes me wonder if Doug Morris really did listen to the album before he let Jay-Z pay him $5 million to take it elsewhere. He probably did, and if he thought it was worth a shit, that probably wouldn’t have been an option.
4) Kanye murdered Jay on his own shit.
I’d suggest Kanye start writing rhymes for Jay, but I’m not sure if Kanye’s writing his own shit. I’ve been aware that Kanye uses ghost writers (and ghost producers) since back before Jose Hustle had Polo, but sometimes Kanye’s verses are so retarded you have to think he wrote them. There’s no way he actually paid someone to write them. Just now, like minutes ago, I saw there was some shit on Vlad TV about how Consequence writes rhymes for Kanye, but I didn’t bother clicking on it, because I didn’t give a shit, and that was before I started “researching” this post. Anyhoo, it’s not that Kanye’s verse is particularly good, it’s that Jay-Z’s verse is so bad. It’s almost certainly a new all-time low for Jay. It’s like he’s just talking out of his ass. Even more so than usual.
5) Wine is the new malt liquor.
I identified this trend a few weeks ago, when I saw the video for “Death of Autotune” and I noticed how the camera lingered on Jay-Z sipping a glass of wine, as if no one in hip-hop ever drank any wine before. And who knows, maybe they haven’t. Unless you want to count Brass Monkey, the shit that probably gave MCA mouth cancer and hence fucked up Lollapalooza. And I’m not sure if that counts as wine, even though it’s commonly found on the bum wine shelf. It wasn’t clear to me whether Jay-Z had taken some money from the people who make Ace of Spades to feature a certain brand of wine, or if he was just trying to kick start a trend, like when he had fools walking around in button down shirts and baseball caps. In “Run This Town,” Kanye mentions Riesling, which is a variety rather than a brand, and Jay-Z, as far as I know doesn’t mention any wine, though he may or may not have mentioned Ace of Spades. So it could just be that him and Kanye have gotten really into wine – Riesling in particular. How gay.