Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation, 2009)
This new Jay-Z album, the third and final installment of his Blueprint series, somehow found its way onto the Internets damn near two weeks before its release date. Crap! I haven't reviewed an album in ages, but I figured I'd have a look, to make up for some of those posts I lost last week. I swear, the things I do for you people. It's too bad hardly any of you are girls - I'd be looking for a show of gratitude right about now.
WHAT WE TALKIN' ABOUT
That freestyle he kicked out in Las Vegas, in which he mentioned the Game, Jaz-O, et al., but with some teh ghey techno music in the background. There's an extra verse about how you can either sit at home and flash guns on YouTube, or you can go with him to the White House to meet Obama.
Jay-Z hardly sounds like he's rapping anymore. It sounds like he's just rambling off the top of his head, like a schizophrenic homeless person. On this one, he does it in a faux British accent, as if to suggest he's rapping poorly on purpose. Good strategy. That's why they pay him the big bucks.
D.O.A. (DEATH OF AUTO-TUNE)
The fact that KRS-One made a song with the same concept, months before Jay-Z, just goes to show how feeble Jay's brain is these days. Someone might need to check and see if it's growing a thin candy shell.
RUN THIS TOWN
Another song that's been released as a single. The familiarity makes it sound a bit better than it would otherwise. And it sounds way better than those Timbaland songs that came out last week, by comparison.
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND
A list of streets in New York, in (hardly rhyming) rap form. Then there's this ridonkulously overwrought Alicia Keys chorus. It's like she's shouting the word in your ear, except at least in real life you might get some sweet downblouse action.
REAL AS IT GETS
Let me guess: Jay-Z got tired of trying to remember how to rap and just bought a song from the new Young Jeezy album. You can tell, because Jay himself doesn't even appear until like halfway through the song.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
This sounds like what would happen if you went into a Guitar Center and asked the guy behind the counter if a keyboard you were thinking about buying was capable of making songs like Swizz Beatz.
One of those Timbaland songs from the other day that I didn't care for. Justin Timberlake should have sung the chorus, and, if Drake just had to be on this, he should have been rappin'. I see I might need to see about an A&R position with Roc Nation.
A STAR IS BORN
The song that could do for J. Cole what "Coming of Age" did for Memphis Bleek. If J. Cole's career doesn't go anywhere, does he get to be in the will? How come so many of these Kanye West and No ID productions sound like budget Neptunes?
VENUS VS. MARS
Nasty sex raps with Bernie Madoff metaphors. Irv Gotti must have lent Jay some Viagra.
A lot of this new Kanye stuff reminds me of that last Neptunes song from the Black Album. Remember that scene from Fade to Black when Pharrell went through that lengthy spiel about how Jay should buy another Neptunes track, when he already had one, then he played the beat and it was the most anticlimactic shit evar? Kanye might be purposely trying to sabotage this album.
This one, on the other hand, sounds like Kanye's take on late '90s Timbaland. How come we couldn't have gotten Kanye's take on '03-era Kanye, especially since this is a Blueprint album. None of this shit reminds me of the original Blueprint. A lot of it reminds me of that second Blueprint album, in that it's a bad idea.
The one I wasted 15 minutes writing about the other day.
Wouldn't you know, the one actual Neptunes production sounds more like shitty Neptunes than any of the Kanye productions that sound like shitty Neptunes. It also kinda sounds like the remix to "Player's Anthem" by Junior Mafia. (My cassingle game was deep back in the mid '90s.)
Perhaps the gayest thing I've ever heard. That second Bloc Party album is straight by comparison. This Mr. Hudson must have pictures of Kanye taking it up the coat.
COMMENTS: Even worse than I expected. The two singles are the best songs on the album by far. Even that Timbaland garbage from last week is better than most of the rest of this. Except "Venus vs. Mars." Prostate cancer (which Jay should be checked for, rectally) > the rest of this album > "Venus vs. Mars."
BEST TRACKS: "D.O.A." "Run This Town" "Off That"
BONUS VIDEO: "Run This Town"