Track review: Jay-Z, "Open Letter"

April 11, 2013|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

*** (out of 4)

During the middle of Jay-Z's verse on "3 Kings" last year, he had a bar where he just sneered, sniffed, sniveled. That's all it was: "King H-O, y'all should know by now/ and if you don't, uh-- *sniff*." It was the best part of the song, and today's "Open Letter" embodies that line, only in an entire song.

It's both a direct response to the recent controversies surrounding Hov (the illegal-but-actually-legal vacation to Cuba, people clowning on his share of the Nets, his friendship with Obama), and it's not. He couldn't care less, but he's not going to go without getting a word in.

Produced by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, it's a low-key, NY-inspired bouncer for Jay's DGAF-dad flow, and he really doesn't when he spits "Obama said, 'Chill, you're going to get me impeached'/ You don't need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach/ I woulda moved the Nets to Brooklyn for free/ Except I made millions off you fucking dweebs." Dweebs and haters, two things Jay-Z is sick of, but aren't we all?

He's so sick of them, in fact, that he "might buy a kilo for Chief Keef," as problematic a cool-dad rap lyric as there has ever been. Enabling is a drug, dude, haven't you seen these ads? (Maybe that's the point though, and he's just going over my peasant head.)

Anyway, if you're interested in hearing Jay-Z's sneer in song from, check out "Open Letter." It's nothing special, but it's the closest we get to a hungry Hov in 2013.

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