Rap music in 2009 is all about projects that artists have worked on for considerable time being leaked into the public discourse and debated over the course of a day then no longer discussed ever again. We experienced just that with the Asher Roth album which had a massive, yet primarily uncalculated debut and then an incredible and strangely precipitous dropoff. I have to remind myself that his album even came out. It was in stores right?

Sunday's buzz started off with the leak of a new Jay-Z single featuring the rap messiah/anti-christ of the hour - Drake. The single isn't too bad either. Brooklyn Go Hard is the best thing that Jay-Z has produced in the last year since the upcoming Blueprint 3 was announced but this song is the second best joint released. The internets went crazy in their judgements and affectations. I avoided downloading the song at first because the noise was too deafening.

The biggest problem that I get as a fan of music with all the leaks that are issued is that I don't process an album any longer in the state it was went to be heard. I have a head filled with singles and one offs that have no consistency or cohesiveness. The Blueprint 3 might very well be the album that we have been waiting to hear from Jay-Z for the past 4 years but its effect will be muted from all of the music being dribbled forth individually.

Later on in the evening I got the e-mail that there was another Raekwon song from OB4CL2 hitting the webs. I opened it up with a slight hesitation. Just for the same reasons I mentioned previously I didn't want the Raekwon project to be something that I had previewed in a disjointed manner. The stakes are high for both Jay-Z and Raekwon. Not that either of them are going to fix the broken down record industry but they are both bellwethers for rap music.

The Raekwon song certainly didn't disappoint me. I have been a little nervous about the prospect of him and Ghostface looking to team up again and craft an album that is as omnipotent as the OG OB4CL. It seems like Raekwon has been totally mindful of the expectations of his fans for the level of this album. This disk is a decade in the making and will prA'li make us lose the memory of Immobilarity.

For those of you that don't mind these leaks I am posting both tracks for you to preview. Jay's song is leagues better than 'Run This Town' and I'm sure it was recorded more recently. Raekwon's track features Ghostface and Cappadonna and is superior in music and verses. Both joints are dope tho'.


Jay-Z featuring Drake - 'Off That' (produced by Timbaland)

Raekwon featuring Cappadonna and Ghostface Killah - '10 Bricks' (produced by J.Dilla)

Dallas Penn gets to sit down with the Chef and discuss everything. And I mean everything.