First of all, Jay-Z came at everyone himself included. This is his most self revealing album to date. That said, no one is exempt here. From Al Sharpton taking selfies at 70 to Eric Benet messing up his relationship with Halle Berry to Kanye West calling everyone crazy, Jay literally has a lyric for every situation on this one.
As opposed to a traditional review, I am going to add quotes to this list under the song title as I come across them.
I will say that “Family Feud” is probably my favorite song on the album but with all the relatable content littered throughout, it’s hard to say that for sure.
I told Jermale Wilkerson earlier that this is more than Jordan with the Washington Wizards. I feel like Jay’s 2013 release of “Magna Carta, Holy Grail” was that. HOV is Jordan winning if he had won titles with the Wizards on this one.
Shoutout to everyone I’ve talked to about this album:
Corry Black, Ed Geth, Donte Grant, Tonishia Haliburton, A.G. Hall, Chris Hansen, Buck Jenkins, Shane Laflin, Dain Pool, Carl Reed, Kris Watkins, and John Woods…
I have a feeling this list is going to be crazy by the end of the summer.
1) “Kill Jay-Z”
“You got high on the life. You dropped out of school, you lost your principles. I know people backstabbed you, I felt that too. But that forget everybody attitude ain’t natural. You gave em 20 million without blinking, he gave you 20 minutes on stage what the heck was he thinking? What’s wrong with everyone is what you’re saying but if everyone is crazy you’re the one who is insane. Crazy how life works…”
Jay speaks out for the first time at length on a record about Kanye West and his current issues. West called HOV out during his last tour for not arranging a playdate with their daughters.
“You almost went Eric Benet, let the baddest girl in the world get away. I don’t even know what else to say. Never go Eric Benet.”
Beyonce mentioned possible infidelity on her “Lemonade” album last spring. Jay gives us a glimpse into his mindset during that time. Eric Benet’s infidelity cost him his relationship with actress Halle Berry who is considered one of the most beautiful women in the industry.
“I don’t even know what you would have done. In the Future, another dude playing football with your son. You would have lost it.”
Russell Wilson. Ciara. Future. Enough said.
2) “The Story of O.J.”
“I’m not black, I’m O.J. (pause) Okay.”
On the O.J. “Made in America” 30 for 30 ESPN documentary series, the narrative says that at the height of his football career O.J. Simpson did not want to be viewed as a black man but as a man. With all of the racial dialogues that exist on a daily basis, Jay’s simple sarcastic response of okay lets us know that in no way does he agree with the possibility of this occurring for any black male regardless of status, finances or popularity.
“I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99. Y’all out here still taking (record label) advances. Me and my crew out here taking real chances. You still on (Insta)Gram holding money to your ear. There’s a real disconnect. We don’t call that money over here.”
Exhibit A: Meek Mill
“Legal in Colorado, yet we deny black entrepreneurs free enterprise. That’s why it’s a Black Market. That’s why it’s call a trap. That’s why it’s called the project cause it’s exactly that. All these people is gonna kill me cause the more I reveal is the more they’re afraid of the real me. Welcome Back Carter. Smile.”
Jay manages to tie in a reference to marijuana being legal in Colorado but illegal for sale to his modern day position as a high level executive in multiple genres of line. The Welcome Back Carter is a mention to the 1970’s television show “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.