Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come

After three years of running Def Jam’s “business, man” and the occasional, often uninspired cameo, Jay-Z returns with a strong stack of beats and rhymes. Oh, and attitude – he has read The Art of War, after all. Kingdom Come brings plenty of wisdom of the sort that even Jack Welch might learn from. Especially “Y’all respect the one who got shot, I respect the shooter” (from “30 Something”). Despite that and the expected nods to Scarface and GoodFellas, however, Jay’s true state of mind seems attuned to a certain caution; he’s glad to pass on what he knows, but he isn’t really here to stir stuff up. “Oh My God” references his world tour and the social consciousness it tweaked, even acknowledging that his lyrical topics are somewhat limited. (It’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say after he’s further digested his recent experiences “down in Africa.”) But his ebullience and flow are still on, as if he’s relieved to be back to the real calling after long days at the office.

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