J-Hova, Hov, Jiggaman, Jigga or just plain old Jay-Z proves with his out of retirement release,”Kingdom Come” why he is considered one of hip-hop’s best emcees.
“Kingdom Come,” which supposedly is titled after Super Man’s return to the world in the comic series in 1996 is also conveniently aligned with Jay-Z’s continuing infatuation with blasphemous references in his music.
But despite his attempts to attain godhood, “Kingdom Come” is definitely the most introspective and vulnerable album from the New York rapper.
The single “Show Me What You Got,” which debuted at No.3 on the Billboard charts, takes some getting used to. Just Blaze produces a track that seems somewhat nonlinear, but Jay-Z’s lyrics keep the track memorable and after a few listens somewhat enjoyable. But the rapper could have sprung his comeback with a stronger single.
The track “Kingdom Come” is Jay-Z at his best with his usual bravado and fluid flow tickling and impressing listeners with his metaphorical comparisons to Superman, referencing his leave from the office as CEO of Def Jam Records, changing back into a famous rapper coming to save the now watered- down hip hop world.
“Now I’m so enlightened I might glow in the dark. I been up in the office you might know him as Clark, just when you thought the whole world fell apart, I take off the blazer loosen up the tie, step inside the booth Superman is alive…”
As mentioned, Jay-Z’s introspection reveals more about Jay-Z on “Kingdom Come” than any other album and on the track “Hollywood,” which includes girlfriend and super-diva Beyonc? Knowles singing the hook. The track itself, although poppy, is balanced with meaningful lyrics from Jay-Z warning about the perils and trappings of being rich and famous.
On “30 something,” Jay-Z seems to attempt to mask his insecurity with being a near 40-year-old rapper with references to 30 being the new 20 and how grown up he is now, but it is all transparent. Jay-Z in his own way is letting the world in on his insecurity and it works.
Some may say that Jay-Z dives a bit into pretension with “Beach Chair,” a collaboration with Coldplay’s lead singer Chris Martin. The track is vulnerable but not quite Jay-Z, although it contributes to the evolution of Jay-Z, which is apparent on the album.
Sure some of the production on “Kingdom Come” is sub-quality considering Dr. Dre and the Neptunes produced them.
On Jay-Z’s first released single from the album he says, “I am the Mike Jordan of recording?” and this comeback is just like Michael Jordan’s first comeback-great but different.