Song of the year-Jay-z Blue produced by Timbaland
Jay-z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail is easy to dislike. On it he name-checks Basquiat like most rappers do molly (too darn much), he even brings his sand to the beach because his beach is better. It’s a gloriously snobby album and we’re only conditioned to like that when Kanye does it.
This song and a lot of the album mark the first breaths of a new more scaled down Timbaland production style…I’m not sure it’s an improvement. In fairness, I’m not sure a production style exists for Timbaland that I am in love with. The prescence of Timbo bogs down a lot of MCHG but in this case the lyrics alone make Jay-z Blue a song of the year.
A lot of listeners are saying this is the Jigga album they connect with the least. For me it’s the absolute opposite. Jay-z albums were always about having control, seeing all the angles. Know the block, know the boardroom and have your money right. In a way each album felt like a recorded message left by the bad guy bragging how far ahead of you he was. Magna Carta Holy Grail ,on the other hand, is full of fear.
In a few hours I’m going to the hospital with my wife to induce the labor of our first child. I’m sure when I hold that new soul I’ll feel the same fears: how to be a good father without a father to guide me, how can we know our marriage will last forever? Those fears are mine and they are Jay’s but if you haven’t gone through it you might not connect to it. This song exposes his fear of aging in the game through movie samples(with the ghostly Biggie grunts behind him) along with a fear of repeating the cycle of bad fatherhood and beyond that…if he does provide Blue with everything she needs in order to grow up as happily as she deserves…will she appreciate it?
New parents have a lot to be afraid of and mask it in funny ways.
P.S. This was a written a while ago. I did have my kid and it was awesome.