Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tim Duncan + Walter Payton

Boringness meets Sweetness. Jay Z’s efforts lacked pizazz—the red carpet. But how damn good is he to pull off the best album of the year even after his retirement? All one can do is blush and have that sugary grin when American Gangster plays: Jay is doing his thing.

Pray” is stripped down for Jay to offer the vivid visuals, “turned crack rocks into a chain, 40/40’s… close your eyes and you can pretend you’re me.”

I feel if I know the dope boy in “American Dreaming”. It’s the character development of figures in Casino or Donnie Brasco in just three succinct verses. The runner is being molded, crystallized.

In one of a few slip ups, “Hello BK” is out of place. I can sense Jay’s direction with the song yet he tried too hard to make sense of it and it fails. As for Weezy*??? Hmmm. The “The Best Rapper Alive” is not him, “’Goodbye Katrina and Hello Brooklyn’”. He continues to ruin his opportunities with better rappers (see: Ye and LB). The sample was simple but the unnerving bass line and kick drums annoy fast.

I need not say shit on “No Hook”, “stay out of trouble… be a victim of homicide but I gotta get you outta here momma or imma die inside.”

The horns on “ Roc Boys” are straight buffoonery just as dumb stupid is tight. This has been my ish since I heard it. Now why didn’t he start the AG push with this instead of “Blue Magic”? “Roc Boys” is chalk full of quintessential traits that mark all of Jay’s hits. When you first heard the beginning of his wicked wordplay, “pick a weekend for…” wasn’t this a wrap?

"I pray to God I ain’t got two left feet." Sweet, "alright, alright." While "I Know
" is quick, easy and fun, I could not get over his woman masked drug references; it was too simple.

The end of the nighter, "Party Life", is one of the favs on here, I mean put this on loop and I could be okay for an hour. Why did Jay have to explain his rhymes for us though? I mean I don’t get everything the first listen but I ain’t stupid. I think he’s playing the part of his "character" that has reached his arrogant, "off the wall" prick level.

I guess “Ignorant Shit” is a few years old but I faintly remember. Even though it spoiled certain S.Dot Carter heads’ vibe, the song is really the fuck, bitch, shit we like. Yeah, it doesn’t fit and Beans’ appearance is short lived but Jay delivers a perfect rebuttal on the attacks on rap.

“Say Hello” isn’t his strongest and sort of goes on forever.

But not before “Success” steals the show. Oh, I’m letting this bitch breathe. Jay delivers two of his best verses on AG even if I don’t quite believe his heartfelt moments of wasting six hours drinking Ace of Spades. And Nas sees Jay and raises him, “Google Earth Nas I got flats in other continents.”

AG ends on a good note with “Falling” as he gets back to his concept thingy here, “Damn gravity is ill!”

Isn’t his whole collection about selling and Mafioso tales? How is this all of a sudden, a concept album, coincidentally based upon American Gangster the movie, a ground breaking idea? Whatever, I won’t pout; he distinguishes any hating within words. All of the beats work although only few stand out. But the feel of the beats, as a whole composition, captures a moment; ballroom rap is in full effect. The zone he’s able to attain in such short time is unheard of. What AG succeeds in is being concise and minimal. There are two lines that are stuck in my head: “So fuck Dehaven for cavin, that’s why we don’t speak, made men aren’t supposed to make statements” from “No Hook” and “Scarface the movie did more to me than Scarface the rapper” from “Ignorant Shit”. To squelch a former friend he needs all but a few slicing words. And he, the spokesman for Rap, allows his word to be heard and it’s quite clear how he feels. Touché. If we are to believe that AG took six weeks from start to finish, God MC he is. It’s weird because I love this album yet I’ve only listened to it a few times. There’s no excitement. It’s nothing at Jay but it’s more with me, like why can’t I just give in and dick ride? All I can say is when Jay comes again, and he will, his run should be more enthusiastic for everyone; hell, it may be his fourth peak as an artist.


At 10:00 PM, Anonymous KWIS said...



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