New Jay Z = Ho Hum
Written by Danny P Ocean on June 27, 2016
So last night DJ Khaled finally dropped the video to perhaps the most hyped up song since Michael Jackson returned with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. For like the last 2 months if not longer all you heard was about how Jay-Z did a song with Future and it was the best thing since Jesus turned water to wine. Then we saw pics of the video and you saw a who’s who of rappers all suited up surrounding Jay Z. I began to think “Hell yeah!!! Jay is finna drop that shit!!! Show these rap cats how it is done!!!” However wine…. It was not. It sounded more like Flint Michigan water that dreamt about being wine one day.
I am not sure exactly what is the problem with Jay Z and his rhymes as of late. Because for like the last 4-5 years I have been underwhelmed by everything he has dropped. The only verse that was good in my opinion was his feature on Jay Electronica’s song, and a few tracks on MCHG. The rest of his verses has sounded like struggle rap. What is the problem with Young H-O? His bars have been soft like melted Snickers.
I refuse to believe that he has simply gotten old and the flow has left him. There are plenty of rappers who are his age or older and still have impeccable flows. Maybe the song itself isn’t on par, but the flow remains priceless. A f short list of MCs that come to mind are Nas, Scarface, KRS One, Kane, Busta, and LL. These rappers although no longer hit makers, can still flow with the best of them. I am not sure Jay Z can anymore.
If I have to narrow Jay Z’s issues it will have to be:
- He is no longer sitting around rapping all day – I am sure pre-retirement Jay Z rapped all damn day. He rapped so much that he was dropping mix-tapes and giving away b-side songs that didn’t appear on any album. By staying so active it was easy to step into a booth and drop hot shit, his flow was sharp as a razor back then. Now it seems like he is so removed from the rap game that it isn’t as simple as taking a few months off and stepping back into the booth and remaining the hottest in the game. It seems like Jay Z may have to go back to Roc-A-Fella training camp to get his game back up to Jay Z level.
- He may need to sit down and actually craft his songs – Crafting raps off the top of the dome is a gift that only a few MCs can pull off and sound dope, Jay Z was the king of it. However, this style also creates lazy bars. If you aren’t sharp with the clever lines your bars can come across as sounding like a half-assed lazy song. A new S Dot feature/song used to be a big thing. Internets would crash and radio stations would go crazy for at least an hour over a 4 minute song. Now his features have been about as warm as distilled water sitting on the store shelf. However, I am sure if Hov sat at a desk and focused on crafting hot lines, the result would be similar to Kobe dropping 60 in his farewell game.
Hopefully Jay Z still has a hot album in him. I’m not looking for 5 mic, classic album, Reasonable Doubt, Jay Z. It doesn’t have to sound like Reasonable Blueprint or anything. But I do want him to drop one more 4 mic, fire disc for the culture. Something that will make his core fans proud to call their own. In the midst of Desiigner, Future, and Kevin Gates, Shawn Carter needs to give his Day One supporters something to bump to show the next generation what it is all about. Stop being Lay Z with the flows. Come back Mamba style and drop 60 on them one last time.