“Before Steve Jobs, made the iPod, was gettin head jobs, we call that ‘Internet'”

Damn, what a weekend.

It looks like the Internet gods (and bootleggers) have found a way to help me deal with our two fallen soldiers (see two posts below). I’m away from my PC Friday night, and I get a beep on the Blackberry: “Kingdom Come has leaked like a faulty faucet!” I arrive home three hours later to find that Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come, Snoop Dogg’s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, and Young Jeezy & DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz: I Am The Street Dream! have all hit cyberspace. A day later, a DJ-ruined version of the ridiculously anticipated Jay-Z and Nas collab “Black Republican” leaks. Add that to the new street single from Royce Da 5’9″ leaked earlier last week, and I’ve got some shit to talk about.

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Jay-Z, Kingdom Come
Kingdom came, and kingdom went. Essentially, Jay made a 3 1/2-star album that had some solid songs, but no cohesion and not enough new ideas. Some tracks on this album sound too much like what he’s done before; he may have been trying to prove the point that he’s still got it, but making a “Hovi Baby Pt. 2,” “Justify My Thug Pt. 2,” and “Crazy In Love Pt. XXI” (“Oh My God,” “Dig A Hole,” and the Beyonce-assisted “Hollywood,” respectively) isn’t the way out. Despite having various tracks laced by the same producers (three Dr. Dre tracks, three Just Blaze tracks), Kingdom Come still manages to come across as a scattered, uneven listen; yeah, The Black Album had various producers as well, but it had an undeniable overall tone – something that this disc doesn’t. Oh yeah; “Anything,” featuring Pharrell and Usher, is the worst track to ever appear on a Jay-Z album since “I Know What Girls Like” from Vol. 1…In My Lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, there are highlights: “The Prelude” shines with newcomer B-Money’s somber backdrop and Jay’s contemplative rhymes, “30 Something” knocks with trademark Head Doctor thump and Jay’s coming of age rhymes, “Minority Report” features Jay ably giving his opinion on the government and Hurricane Katrina, and the “Beach Chair” collaboration with Coldplay’s Chris Martin is nothing short of amazing. And the incessant subliminal shots @ Cam’ron, 50 Cent, Game, and Dame Dash are interesting upon a first listen. But for a comeback album after a three-year absence, definitely an underwhelming effort.

Snoop Dogg, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
Snoop, on the other hand, delivers his best album in years. He strays away from his newer poppy persona and returns to his roots, trading in Justin Timberlake, Nelly and Lil Jon for West Coast mainstays like Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, MC Eiht and Kurupt to help him get his southpaw swagger back. Snoop has probably heard whispers that he’s too mainstream and too complacent, and it shows; while 2004’s R&G features a relaxed, commercially-sound Snoop, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment presents a hungry, new-and-improved Calvin Broaddus spewing nimble-tounged gangsterisms over vintage California G-Funk. As fellow canine-lover DMX said, “Every once in a while, I’ll break out in the backyard to roam/and get reckless, but I still know that home is home.” Roll out the carpet and welcome him back.

Jay-Z & Nas, “Black Republican”

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*audio courtesy of the fam @ HipHopDX*
Jay somewhat makes up for the disappointing Kingdom Come with this scorcher from Nas’ upcoming album, Hip Hop Is Dead…The N. Over a dramatic soundscape from lifetime Nas producer L.E.S. (homie really stepped up to the plate), Hov and Esco each drop vicious verses about going back to their respective hoods. All bullshit aside, this track is absolutely everything it was supposed to be.

Royce Da 5’9″, “Street Hop”

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In this recently-leaked street single, the self-proclaimed King of Detroit makes sure that a jail bid won’t completely hold back the buzz for his impending DJ Premier-helmed album. Over a cryptic Carlos Broady production reminiscent of Royce’s career-defining album Death Is Certain, Royce spits venomous battle raps and reexposes skeletons from his closet (“…The original Renegade, before Hova/they like, ‘damn, why Dre ain’t ever get him? He seem like so much anger and pain represent him’/Eminem himself will tell you I’m the only nigga livin that has ever spanked him on the same record wit’ him”).
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That’s it for now. I’m also formulating some new sections/segments for the blog; any ideas?

  • Adam

    Hmmm, now didn’t I say something about Jay last week??? 😉

  • Smack bauer

    Man, I wonder who was the cat who exactly said, “Yo, Kingdom Come leaked like a faulty faucet”?

    Oh, now I remember. It was ME, son! ME! Damn, look at that wordplay!

    Too bad the album was still disappointing as hell (except for some. There are SOME!)

    ~!unO!~

  • Anonymous

    I liked Kingdom Come on the first listen.. but mostly just cause it was Jay-Z. After a few listens I don’t think I’ll be playing it again. Very average.

    Snoops album is the shit though.