Jay-Z
Kingdom Come


3.0
good

Review

by Maximilian Harkness USER (65 Reviews)
September 16th, 2009 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jay's feeling down, go get him a blanket please.

Just like how Jay-Z isn’t your average rapper, Kingdom Come isn’t your average rap album. Many fans were originally disappointed by the albums new found R&B backing and Hova’s seemingly weaker and given up voice; even I was saddened by these new events at first. However, Kingdom Come is a grower in the truest sense, and although at first you expect the same Jay Hovi, you realize it is, just in a more matured and older sense.

Kingdom Come is quite reflective in most of its chapters; although it does have the Def Jam required singles in the form of Jay’s worst song ever “Anything” and the mediocre Public-Enemy theft “Show Me What You Got”, most of Kingdom Come is a look at his return and his past. On the Dre-led “Lost One”, Jay uses his first verse to analyze fame, and how it takes the person of fame and turns them egocentric, while in another, albeit bouncier, Doctor prescription in the form of “30 Something”, Hova celebrates his age, something not usually embraced in the rap industry. Jay doesn’t reinvent MCing, like what he did on early albums, forcing producers to mold to him, but here he does what he can and what he’s forced to what he’s got in material: he’s back and slightly more sensitive.

In the midst of New Jay, though, we have incredible inconsistency, sometimes even just in-between two or three tracks. Just Blaze goes in one for three with his productions, shining on the Rick James-sampling madness that is the title track, but embarrassingly failing on the rather silly sampling on “Oh My God” and the P Diddy-ish instrumental swiping of “Show Me What You Got” and Jay lathers these tracks as the production goes. The problem with Kingdom Come is that Jay-Z is only as good as the beat he’s provided, so when he gets radio-friendly-label required junk like “Anything” or “Hollywood”, he rides it like, in King of The Hill, When Bobby just grabs a trash bag and rumbles around with it more like he’s dancing with it in a rather embarrassing fashion. At points, Kingdom Come is really as bad as most make it out to be.

However, Jay is smart in the way he places this filler. He places most of it where it can easily be skipped to make it to better tracks, placing most of the awfulness right in the middle. “Dig A Hole” is the last bad track, and it only really fails because of Swizz Beatz non-beat, but then the album becomes infinitely more reflective than any previous track before. “Minority Report” has Jay rapping on the issue of Katrina, and near the end he starts blaming himself for just giving his money and not his time, while adding a touch of soul/R&B in the form of Ne-Yo, making for one of the best soulful tracks Jay has ever done.

Despite the greatness of “Minority Report”; however, it doesn’t compare to what comes from “Beach Chair”, which sounds more like the closer to a career than anything on The Black Album. “Beach Chair” is dream-like and has an under-water-ish feel, but still manages also to be incredibly dynamic and captivating, and Chris Martin’s crooning of “Life is just a dream” is done like life really is just a dream that we just don’t wake up from. Jay’s lyricism particularly shines here, where he closes off the song like a true artist closes off their career.

“And so you won't lose scent
I'll make a stink for you to think
I ink these verses full of prose
So you won't get conned out of 2 cent
My last will and testament I leave my heir
My share of Roc-A-Fella Records and a new beach chair”

Kingdom Come was a comeback in ways, but it was more of a surrender and admittance of the defeat of Old Jay, other than a few ecstatic and bouncy tracks, that man is no more. Throughout most of this record we have New Hov, and although new Jay sounds disappointing at first, he’s really a great guy if you get to know him, get into the mind set of this man, you know? It’s not the perfect record, and because of a horrific, label-required middle, it isn’t even that great, but if you take a few more listens you realize this is just deeper than a guy who used to be loud now being quiet, this is a man whose experiences have made him into someone new, and slightly less egocentric.



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user ratings (321)
Chart.
2.5
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other reviews of this album
midpoints (3.5)
Although not at the top of his game, Jay-Z's first post-retirement album is still a solid effort. G...


Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
September 16th 2009


3435 Comments


i haven't written a review this long in a while, and its not even that long lol.

ninjuice
September 16th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album isn't very good but it gets too much crap too. Oh My God, Kingdom Come, Show Me What You Got and Beach Chair are the only ones still on my hard drive though :/ Guess I should listen to it again.

bastard
September 16th 2009


3435 Comments


ah you like all of Just Blaze's stuff on this album.

ninjuice
September 16th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

December 4th and PSA are two of my favorites from The Black Album, so apparently I'm a Just Blaze fan.

bastard
September 16th 2009


3435 Comments


8. I Made IT
9. Anything
10. Hollywood
11. Trouble
12. Dig a Hole


listen to it without these and see if it sounds better.

KILL
September 16th 2009


71981 Comments


pos

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

Thompsonhunt
September 16th 2009


279 Comments


good review, pretty much my thoughts on the album except I have a few more negative feelings about it

fromtheinside
September 16th 2009


18865 Comments


i love that jazz line for show me what you got. not a bad album and would probably be solid for any other artist, just no where near jays standards.

Digging: Psicosis - The Crippled Machine That Moves the World

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 20th 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Prelude is so damn good even though half of the beat was stolen from Madlib

Counterfeit
December 11th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

anything is so badddddd

MUNGOLOID
December 12th 2010


4333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yessur.



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