Song: Somewhere in America
Album: Magna Carta... Holy Grail
Hey guys, I think MCHG went over people’s heads. I know that could be an easy way to explain-away poor quality, but I’ve really thought about this. Childish Gambino has a line where he basically says that rappers don’t get the benefit of listeners understanding any subtlety or subtext in their lyrics and Jay Z doesn’t seem to be immune to that.
I didn’t love it when it came out. Then recently I realized it’s actually a good album up through “Heaven.” Take out “Versus,” “BBC,” and “La Familia” and I think we have a 8-point-something on out hands easy. Maybe give “Part II” to Bey while we’re at it.
I’m posting “Somewhere in America” because I think it’s a pretty simple example of the difference between what Jay was doing and what reviewers thought on day one. I’ve read a couple reviews that talk about Hov name dropping throughout the album. But I don’t think he’s doing it to seem relevant or anything. This is a guy who drops like 6 Italian words in “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit” knowing damn well we don’t know Italian. Maybe he’s trying to portray different things with those lyrics but in my opinion, he’s really just using whatever he can to be effective.
Is Miley Cyrus’ twerking all the rage right now? Yeah. It’s got buzz. But because we know all about her and her career, the lyric makes perfect sense when you think about it as an example of how hip-hop and black culture are invading the mainstream. I mean, think about it. Miley Cyrus is fucking twerking. Hov’s giving himself some credit for that (“You see I’m still puttin’ work in”) and he’s earned that. No one can say he’s not one of the most influential figures in the genre ever. Not saying every line is a classic but spend some time on RapGenius and a little more time thinking about some of the lyrics and I think it’ll grow on you like it did me.
I’m still working on “I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford.”