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First off, I think it’s extremely important to note that the most anticipated album we have seen in a while did not leak weeks in advance. That is an unexpected miracle that could solve the problem of leaks in the future, but I may be looking too much into this.
The album was not released to major store outlets as it has been done in the past, the album was released through iTunes exclusively and physically became available on the 8th. In a recent interview, Jay Z said that the process of releasing an album lends itself to getting leaked very easily as albums are shipped weeks in advanced to various stores around the country.
Through that stage of the whole process anything can and usually does happen, the album is there for the taken.We see the plan put into action with an album that didn’t even receive the usual visual treatment most albums get.
Listening to the album after purchasing it, a lot of things became clear that were blurry before. Mainly, who the better rapper was; at this point I wouldn’t expect Jay Z to rap circles around the man with the biggest ego outside of Jay Z. Kanye seemed as if he were content in playing the background allowing the “God Emcee” to control the album. After a song called “Who Gon Stop Me” the 8th song on the album in which Jay decided to really take control, the album was dominated by Jay Z and Kanye played second fiddle.
This album also brought Frank Ocean to a wider group of fans who otherwise would have never listened or taken time out of their day to listen to his album.
Ocean is now being seen as the next in line to the R&B throne and Jay Z after hearing his popular album “Nostalgia” felt he would be perfect for the album. Frank Ocean is featured on two songs, the intro which is called “No Church In The Wild,” and the triumphant “Made In America.”
The Album is receiving pretty good reviews at this point (77 grade on Metacritics website), not unexpected given the parties involved. Jay Z proves he is still king in terms of rapping ability but Kanye shows his mark and brilliance in the overall production of the album. The album is sort of a Jay Z release with production done by Kanye, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
This is an album with a bunch of songs made to be performed in a packed stadium accompanied by great lyrics from both artists, as good as the album is, it does not live up to the last solo efforts of either artists.
One last thing we learned is what Jay Z thinks of Beyonce: “if Picasso were alive, he would have made her and Mona Lisa can’t fade her,” one of the best and most humorous lines in the album all together.