"Can’t Leave Rap Alone, The Game Needs Me"

14 Sep

Jay-Z Confirms New Album
SOHH Exclusive: Guess Who’s Bizack?

We’ve all known this was going to happen for a while. The random cameos on albums from new artists, the hints thrown in his commercial for HP computers, the mini-tidbits thrown out by producers that he was working with. Hell, some people would even go back as far as the “99 Problems” video, or, even earlier, right after his first album Reasonable Doubt, when he said that he would retire, only to release eight more LPs (even more if you include side projects like Unplugged, the Collision Course mash-up with Linkin Park, and the Streets Is Watching soundtrack) afterwards. It was inevitable that Jay-Z would have a comeback LP after his supposed swan song, The Black Album.

Now that it’s semi-official, Jay can’t fuck up with this one. It would be foolish to say, “This new album better be just as good as Reasonable Doubt,” or even to say that it should surpass The Blueprint. But if Jay’s going to record a comeback album, it has to prove its worth under two regards: it has to be worth both the wait since The Black Album (we’re used to him releasing an album every year; Black Album was released in 2003), and worth the accusations that the whole retirement thing was a hoax in the first place, used to snag record sales and reach his god-like status. Also, it’s going to have to make New York hip-hop fans forget how he has completely shitted on Def Jam’s viable East Coast MCs like Method Man, Joe Budden, LL Cool J (yeah, his shit was weak, but that’s not the point), and Ghostface Killah during his time as the label’s president.

This Thy Kingdom Come joint has to show Jay at his best. None of the contrived, experimental bullshit that weighed down Blueprint 2, or the incessant crew love that was shown on The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. This album can’t have sleepwalked, half-assed verses like his cameos on Rick Ross’ “Hustlin’ (Remix)” or Pharrell’s “Young Girl.” But instead, it needs the cohesion and the introspect of The Blueprint and The Black Album, but the deft mainstream sensibilities shown on songs like “Change Clothes,” “Big Pimpin,” and “Excuse Me Miss.” I understand that this is a business, but keep the southern rap cameos to a minimum, please. A Premo beat would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. While The Black Album showed you reflecting on your success, use this opportunity to expound on that, and to talk about how being in boardrooms changed your perspective. Essentially, remind us all of why we’ve missed you so much in the first place.

Yeah, we want an encore. Just make sure you do it right.


3 Responses to “"Can’t Leave Rap Alone, The Game Needs Me"”

  1. Soopa Starr September 15, 2006 at 6:49 pm #

    I knew it was going to happen! I knew it!

  2. Anonymous September 16, 2006 at 8:25 pm #

    This blog is hot. I wish I had found it earlier!

  3. KLC September 17, 2006 at 6:17 pm #

    It’ll be interesting to see what he does with it. He told me in 2004 that he would likely return, so it was the biggest non-secret in the music business! Keep up the good blog work!

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