Jay-Z / The Black Album

Jay-Z, otherwise known as Shawn Carter has been in the rap game for numerous years telling tales about the street life, drugs, women being spoken about in a derogatory manner and so on. While many may be following in his footsteps, one thing's for sure, Jay's got his own style and unique flow. He manages to keep the sound of his music innovative, blending various sounds to back up his thuggin' lyrics. Seems to have toned down a little on the heavy lyrics since he's been dating Beyonce. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, after his successful hit "Crazy In Love" which was the first single off the debut solo album of his lady love, Jay takes center stage once again with his latest entitled "The Black Album." There are a few good tracks. One of them being "What More Can I Say." Cool backdrop with an old school feel. "Encore" is upbeat. "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" has a funky flow. "Threat" has the Brooklyn native cussin' and rhyming about violence and it just doesn't measure up to the first few tracks. The album weakens as it progresses. Violent lyrics and music that just doesn't captivate. "Allure" is passable but it still lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Jay-Z is without a doubt one of rap music's success stories. He has proven himself with innovative tracks in the past but this album is so-so. He can do so much better.