RI Layout

Jay-Z is a rapper from Brooklyn New York. This album is very laid back. It's calm and cultured. His verses aren't overly complicated. "Your blood money, I giggle at it." "There's no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I'm cute" Jay-Z's selling attributes are his resilient attitude and the knowledge that he can back up all of his statements about affluence. However, as a result, you don't get very much variety with his current music. Is there a Jay-Z song where he doesn't mention his wealth? There's probably one.. I think... However, to be fair, that's an integral part of hip hop culture. Usually Jay-Z targets the hood, but this strange album cover is appropriate for the flow of this album.
Defining Track
"Caught Their Eyes" is a feature with Frank Ocean and it's highly sophisticated. It's a nice song but it isn't nearly as good as these artist's talents could have made it. It's like they're jogging instead of a full artistic sprint.
Final Thoughts
This album is struggling functionally. Jay-Z gloating about wealth is usually done in a more black pride/excellence kind of display. He has the ego, but hasn't really embraced a non-hip hop focused audience here. Who is this album for? The cover is half ego and half acquiescent. Jay-Z albums are more about celebrating success than innovating the genre. This album is solid.

Rap Independent
Jay-Z - 4:44

RI Footer