Jay-Z | Kingdom Come (Roc-a-Fella)

cd_jay-zThis is Jay-Z we're talking about. He's always kept it real, and he keeps on keepin' on with his new disc, Kingdom Come.

 

 

 

 

Rapping about Hurricane Katrina, huh? Well, what about cars? What about bling? And for god's sake, what about bitches?

This is Jay-Z we're talking about. He's always kept it real, and he keeps on keepin' on with his new disc, Kingdom Come.

On "Minority Report," Hove (one of the many nicknames the man has given himself) raps about the disaster in New Orleans, and how the government can drop food and water on civilians in Iraq but failed to respond promptly enough for the victims of the hurricane. Then, in "Do U Wanna Ride," he sends a message to a friend in a federal pen. In other tracks, he pays tribute to his mom, and to how far he's come in the rap game. Humility: it beats flossin' every time.

He's also put together a nice list of guest artists on this CD, including John Legend, Jill Scott, Usher, and of course, an appearance by his girl Beyoncé.

Jay-Z is all about showing love but he's not above the occasional beef, which has become so popular in the music industry. "Dig a Hole" includes the warm invitation to rival Cam'ron to "dig a hole and bury yourself." (Jay-Z is supposedly the godfather behind Cam'ron's shooting.)

But really, Jigga is just a big teddy bear. His duet with Jill Scott, "Lost One," touches on his relationship with Beyoncé and with his nephew, who died in a car accident. And then there's that shout-out to his homie in lock-up, "Do U Wanna Ride." With the help of the soulful John Legend, he lays down what he calls an "open scribe." He reminisces about the old days, and says he'll have his friend's back when he gets out someday.

Kingdom Come left me reminiscing about the Jay-Z of old. He's always kept it real, but he seemed more in touch with the streets on Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime. Maybe his relationship with Beyoncé led him to invite all those R&B singers—and no other rappers—to guest on the new disc. In any case, Hove shows up strong, but some will wish the lyrics and the beats were not quite so soft. C | Maria Kriszt

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