Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Some random thoughts on Jay-Z

Glad to see Jay-Z answering questions on twitter. He’s actually a funny guy. Seinfeld fan. Dry humorist. For me, that was more interesting than Magna Carta Holy Grail (MCHG). There hasn’t been an artist I have listened to for that long and felt like I know less about. The twitter session taught me more about Jay-Z in one day, than seventeen albums.

Speaking of MCHG, which I think for the most part is a very solid album. If he retired on this album, it would make sense. At this point, he’s pretty much a rapping black Forbes magazine. Referencing a bunch of rich shit.

….the trick in this album is the production, which is grade A. Aside from the BBC misstep (I don’t know who’s idea it was to follow Beach is Better with BBC, but they should be fired from the Jayminati), it’s top notch. Hard snares. 808’s. Classic beat switch on Picasso Baby…the highlight in the production is when the beat drops on Somewhere in America, and it’s nothing but the horns…. MCHG, heavily influenced by Timbaland, is probably his hardest record since the Black Album. MCHG is boom-bap Jay-Z in 2013.

Jay-Z sounds best rapping over production from Just Blaze and Timbaland.

I say the trick is the production because lyrically, he’s referencing a bunch of things that: 1. People really don’t care about.
2. People really don’t want to hear.

When was the last time you were thrilled to discuss Picasso? How much of an influence is Basquiat in your life? Do you care about Tom Ford? Listen, I completely understand why Jay-Z is talking about this. He’s at the point in his life where this is the world around him. However, he’s preaching to an audience that will probably never experience the things he’s referencing, have no idea who Tom Ford is from Henry Ford, and generally are hanging onto every word because Jay-Z said it.

Sidenote: How bland of a name is Tom Ford? How long is it going to be before someone niggafies the Tom Ford brand and you have Tom Ford all-over print hoodies and shirts like Bape in 2006? In 2033, how many 20 yr-olds are getting arrested named Tom Ford Jenkins? How long before someone changes their facebook name to Domatez “iRockTomFord” Robinson?

Back to MCHG…Jay-Z makes rapping effortless. Some mistake it for lazy. But in 2013, based on MCHG, he can still rap. Very well. Granted, I may not want to hear most of the things he’s rapping about (dissing Harry Bellafonte and Scott Morris, REM, and him and Beyonce being “ride or die”…lol @ that), but he does it in a clever way over incredibly solid production.

MCHG was for people who felt alienated by Yeezus. MCHG is a continuation of Watch the Throne. It’s a stadium album for black America.

Beach is Better should be longer. Rumor has it Andre 3000 is on the remix. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I am glad that they are making it into a full song. I’ll save my thoughts on Andre 3000 for another day.

Miley Cyrus has no ass people. I like that portion of the song….but let’s be honest: she has no ass, and she can’t dance.

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