Jay-Z’s comeback album, Kingdom Come, found its way onto the Internet this weekend, and after hearing it, we’re thinking it would be smart for Jay to stop calling himself the Michael Jordan of hip-hop. The best producers money can buy — Dre, Just Blaze, the Neptunes, Kanye West (though not, oddly, Timbaland) — turn in competent but overfamiliar work, while Jay-Z sounds altogether too comfy as he raps about how mature he is these days (there’s even a song called “30-Something”). There might be a 50-point game in here somewhere — like the title track, with its deconstructed “Superfreak” beat — but, mostly, this is the laid-back sound of a middle-aged superstar nursing his balky knee through a long, grueling season, only to just miss the playoffs. (Meantime, Lil’ Wayne, the Lebron James of hip-hop, sounds lean, mean, and hungry over Jay-Z’s beats.) Jay-Z might keep in mind what happened after MJ’s final comeback: He got fired from the executive suite.
Young H.O.- “30’s the New 20, N-gga!” [Notes From a Different Kitchen]
The King Has Returned [Discobelle.net]
Leak of the Week: Jay-Z Does Not Have Time for MySpace [Idolator]