(These paragraphs were originally written as text messages in a conversation about the album.)
The Prelude is one of my favorite intros from Jay Z. I wish the whole album was like this. There’s only a few songs that match this quality, but the rest are some of Jay’s worst songs of his career. His delivery was off on this album.
Oh My God is not a good song to me. The Kingdom Come song had potential to be a great song. The writing of it shows what he wanted it to be, but the execution is subpar. Show Me What You Got: Verses are too good for the hook to be that corny. Lost One is a classic song. That song was made during Black album recordings, and it shows
The mixing on the album has his vocals low with the dub matching the same volume. Puts him in the background of most beats, and makes him appear less confident. Do U Wanna Ride is a good example of that. I think this is because of Dre’s mixing on this album. This song could’ve been a classic Jay song. Instead, I just remember what it’s about. Concept versus execution.
30 Something is a corny song. I Made It is always skippable to me. Anything featuring Usher is so corny. There’s nothing effortless about this song. Seems so forced. Hollywood is way too pop, and I like the concept of the song. Trouble and Dig a Hole are diss songs, but they’re bad diss songs. I agree with everything he’s saying on them, but as songs, they weren’t impressive. I love Minority Report. Wish it was twice as long. It deserved to be. Beach Chair is perfect.