The new Kanye and Jay-z album is mediocre. It’s probably Kanye’s worst album to date and easily his least creative. I haven’t listened to The Blueprint 2 or In my Lifetime Vol. 3 in a while so I don’t know if it’s Jay’s worst, but its bad.
It’s hard to point out when Jay-Z became boring. I remember being really underwhelmed by his verse on “Run This Town” when Kanye showed him up. His embarrassingly uncool verse on “Monster” was a pretty clear indicator that he was getting old. After this album I don’t really think there is a plausible argument that Hov is one of the best in the game anymore. He has nothing interesting to say and even his flow feels off a lot of the time. Sometimes he seems to just be stringing words together without really having any ideas or theme.
Kanye feels like he’s not trying at all, which is pretty strange for him. For someone coming off the best album of his career he sounds pretty uninterested in trying anything new. Every album he has released so far has felt pretty groundbreaking, except for this one. Most of raps are complaints about critics and mainstream “White America”. They come off kind of silly coming on the heels of such a universally praised album. He’s not particularly funny or offensive either, just kind of boring.
23 Year Old, Odd Future member, Frank Ocean is easily the best part of the album. He has 2 great choruses on Made in America and No Church in the Wild, two of the strongest songs on the album. No Church in the Wild sounds a lot like the song “Pray” from Jay-Z’s “American Gangster” album, except the verses are far less haunting. “Otis” is a legitimate banger. The “Murder for Excellence” beat is great, the chanting gives it that “Power” feel. The beat coproduced by RZA (“New Day”) is pretty good too. None of these tracks are real classics though and they are probably akin to or maybe slightly worse then Jay and Ye’s former B+ material.
I originally planned on writing a long review of this album but I really dont have much to say.
On the DJ Khaled track “Im On One” released a few months ago, Drake raised some eyebrows with a line “I just feel like the throne is for the taking”. It is.