For hip hop fans everywhere the ‘third coming of Jay Z’ was an idea that they just couldn’t let themselves buy into. In recent times, Jay has seemed far more concerned with his corporate dealings and new-found status as a ‘family man’ than he has been with his rap career and let’s face it, the man’s not getting any younger! At the age of 46 he would be venturing into the uncharted territory of rapping at 45+. But despite all of this…. Jay Is Back!
The only thing more surprising than the fact Jay actually returned was the way in which it happened. Hov’s verse on the ‘All The Way Up’ remix brought an end to a 2-year break from the rap game, which may not seem like much, but when you take into consideration that Jay had dropped at least one verse every year since 1994 up until last year’s hiatus, you can understand the disbelief surrounding his return. The verse also saw him collaborating with/and effectively ending his longstanding feud with Fat Joe and the Terror Squad, which can be traced as far back as the late 90’s… and let’s not even get started on that ‘cough-and-you’ll-miss-it’ verse on Drake’s ‘Pop Style’.
What This Means?
The thing that struck me the most was how current Hov’s verse was, and when I say current, I mean as current as up to a month ago! In the verse, Hov honours the late music legend and his former business partner, Prince, as well as addressing the media circus brought about by his wife’s ‘Lemonade’ album. So what does this all mean? It means that Hov’s got his finger back on the pulse, he’s interested again (something that couldn’t be said in the past year).
As per usual, Hov’s verse was full of the complexities and layers that take multiple listens to fully grasp. The level of lyricism in the last line alone showed just why we needed Hov back so badly. The line reads “We Never Gonna Let The Elevator Take Us Down”, which is also a verbatim quote from one of Prince’s biggest singles ‘Lets Go Crazy’, a reference to Prince’s untimely passing (found dead in an elevator in his Paisley Park estate) and also a nod to Jay Z’s own experience of being knocked down a peg or two in an elevator (the infamous 2014 Elevator incident with his wife and her sister Solange at the Met Gala) – Yes folks, Jay casually dropped a triple entendre on us and most of us didn’t even realise it.
To those who still think he’s lost it, speak up now or forever hold your peace.
An Album? A World Tour? Ok maybe I’m reaching a bit, but I’d gladly settle on a single for the summer – and if Dj Khaled and Future’s tweets are anything to go on, this is exactly what we’ve got coming.
Although, I’m not entirely convinced that an attempt at a summer anthem with Future is necessarily what the fans want from Jay, you won’t be hearing any complaints from me!
Here’s hoping that Jay Z’s verse on ‘All The Way Up’ signals his return to the game and isn’t just another attempt to get us all to sign-up to Tidal!
Is A New Jay Z Album On The Way? Is Jay Z Just Getting Our Hopes Up Again? Will The Collaboration With Future This Summer Be A Success?
As Usual Comments Are Encouraged!