Thursday, September 27, 2007

IS JAY-Z STILL GANGSTER ENOUGH?
The life of any successful rapper is challenging! Once the money and fame comes into play, it quickly becomes a personal battle of success vs. image. Fans are fickle and have been known to quickly turn from adoring fans to venom spitting vipers at the drop of one mediocre track. Some rappers get into the business for the love of the game, but most get involved for lucrative reasons. While many rappers have tried to be truly successful in the rap game, only a few have managed to actually do it. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is definitely one of the successful ones. He came from rapping with Jaz-O in Montgomery Ward fake Hawaiian button-up shirts to being a record label President sitting courtside at the NBA All-Star Game with Beyonce by his side. The dude has definitely come up for sure, and most of us have watched this kat blossom into the celebrity he is today. Musically, Jay has had some stumbles over the years, but most fans have made excuses for his mediocre efforts because he has provided so many great ones.

Personally, I thought the infamous Black Album was over hyped because it was supposed to be his last project before his retirement from the rap game. Don’t get me wrong though, the album was good, but it just didn’t carry the “classic” label like everyone was trying to give it. I understood why most fans felt that way though. It had a lot to do with that album supposedly being his last one ever. It’s kind of like eating the last cookie or taking the last bite of your favorite sandwich. It’s normally the best part of the whole experience. Also, they marketed the hell out of that project too, so nobody could talk about anything else during that time. Great business move for sure, but there was a lot of criticism about the album when it dropped. The negative criticism I heard about that album was that it was too mainstream, not enough street records, weak production, blah, blah, blah…

Then Jay decided to come back to the rap game once again, which we all knew was going to happen anyway. Again, the excitement of his comeback album outweighed the final product! Honestly, I didn’t hate the “Kingdom Come” album, but it’s currently not getting any spins in my CD player or iPod either. Most fans were left slightly disappointed, but the happiness of Jay-Z being back on the microphone once again made most fans forgiving. The truth is that mainstream hip-hop needed that type of buzz back then, and it still needs it now actually. The only spirited competition that Jay-Z has at this point in his career is Nas, and that’s not really that big of a deal. Jay’s biggest competition is his former self in my opinion. We want the rapper phenomenon from the old "Reasonable Doubt" and "The Blueprint" eras of his career to reappear. Where’s that guy who traded verses with Biggie on that classic “Brooklyn’s Finest” joint? The truth is that old version of Jay is no more. It’s a disappointing realization, but it's true.


So, now it's Fall of 2007 and Jay-Z has announced that he will be releasing another album this year based off the upcoming Denzel Washington movie called "American Gangster" that just happens to be the same name that Jay is using for the title of his project. Marketing wise, that's a brilliant idea! In a way Jay-Z is kind of marketing his album like an unofficial soundtrack to the movie. I already know that the movie is going to be very gangster, but the real question is Jay-Z's album going to be gangster enough? Will his album live up to the epic proportions of this soon to be classic movie? Jay-Z needs to resurrect some of his past musical relationships and pull out all of the stops to make the album this time around that the 'Black Album' and 'Kingdom Come' should have been times two! If he falls short again, I don't know if the hip-hop fans will be very forgiving about it this time around?

I wish Mr. Carter the best of luck, and I hope he can prove the doubters wrong by doing what most feel he can't do, which is make a true classic album. Well, for those that have missed it, here is the rumored first single called "Blue Magic" featuring Pharell from the new joint!! Listen for yourself, and hear what you think...

14 comments:

CHOKL8 SNAPPA said...

Ummmmmm.....back to the drawing board for this one! I agree with you 100% regarding Mr. Carter. Hell, I'm nervous for HOV because like you say, if doesn't come hard this time, it just might be a wrap for Jay's fan clubs.

SoundNexx DJ said...

@Chokl8 - Whaddup playgirl! I am not totally feeling this song either, so I hope he has something better on the new joint?

*Rips my Jay-Z fan club card to shreds*

Big Homie said...

Looking foward to this album regardless

candyraindrops said...

looking forward to the album regardless as well, but def first single doesnt do it for me *waves @ jamz!*

SoundNexx DJ said...

I look forward to Christmas every year, but I'm still disappointed when I get a shitty gift...

Everyone always looks forward to any new Jigga projects, but it's the final product that has me a little worried...

I want the dude to succeed though!

Sasha said...

Im not worried about it...Im excited actually...like he said, its a hobby for him. If he fails, he'll just pop his collar and still b CEO at the end of the day. He really caught me off guard with this album...he cant stand being outta the limelight...

SoundNexx DJ said...

@Sasha - Look at you! ;) Got your name all in the comments now!

I agree with you about Jay, but let me ask you this question: Which do you care about more, Jay-Z the rapper or Jay-Z the CEO?

Sasha said...

YEeah, check me out!!!!!!!!

But, of course I care more about JZ, the rapper...Im just sayin, its not a make or break album for him...I guess,he can do no wrong in my eyes cuz...its HOV. I'm just hoping 4 an album with less "Chris and Gwyneth" and maybe more JustBlaze and Kanye.
But,Im actually in the minority of ppl who liked his last album, he lost some street cred, gained Sasha cred:)

SoundNexx DJ said...

No doubt, Jay-z is past the point in his career where his music releases have any REAL effect on his status. That may be the reason why his last few joints have been just better than average? If his azz was on the line, would he try harder?? :)

Rappers are like boxers in many respects, because they don't know when to stop. Jay has done enough for the game where he should just move on from rapping and become a mentor of sorts. I liked his last few joints, but I didn't LUV them like many of his other albums in the past. The reality is that I don't want ole' boy to go out like a chump, because he deserves better! If this new joint is the classic he's been striving for, then he should put the mic on the shelf for good and leave on top...

On another note, I think Dr. Dre is going to suffer the same conscequences when he finally releases that infamous DETOX album? :)

Sasha said...

I dunno bout Dre...the fact that hes taking sooooooooo long 2 put it out can b a really good thing, bcuz it could b that he just doesnt wanna put out bs, or hes stallin cuz hes knows theres high expectations 4 Detox. Besides him, who else is on production, do u know?

SoundNexx DJ said...

@Sash-Ah - That's a very good question! Honestly, I would hope that he does it all himself, but I bet he executive produces most of the stuff though. I pray that he doesn't let Eminem near the production equipment for this album though..LOL!

I don't care who produces it really, let's just get the dayum album finished and released first, then we can has out the small details... :)

Sasha, I hope you're a pretty woman, because I don't normally chat with men this long...LMAO! (No Crying Game)

Sasha said...

No worries, Im not a man :),
I know Sasha is a unisex name but, IMO, a guy named Sasha is quite fruity.

So true about Eminem...hes cursed, I saw he had a song out, I didnt even care to listen.
Btw, have u heard the new Wu? Its meaking me very happy anywhoo, in case u havent http://www.zshare.net/audio/3999582dd11b76/

SoundNexx DJ said...

@Sasha - I have heard bits and pieces from the new Wu album, but what songs will be actually on the joint from what I've heard, I can't really say. I do like the track that you posted though!

Thanks for sharing...

Sasha said...

Ur welcome, its the least I could do, youre always sharing the hotness...