The rapper sees fame as a potentially dangerous addiction (“Lost One,” “Hollywood”). “I Made It” thanks his mother for her sacrificial love. Several cuts respect the Lord or urge people to keep their hearts and spirits strong. “Minority Report” empathizes with Hurricane Katrina victims.
Liberal helpings of profanity (s-words, f-words and dozens of n-words) are joined by a few sleazy sexual remarks. Throughout “Anything” Jay-Z ogles a stripper and invites her to his crib. He compares his life to the ultraviolent video game Grand Theft Auto on “Oh My God.” Other references to thuggery and gunplay include, “With an automatic weapon I was reppin’ with a Tec” (“The Prelude”) and “Y’all respect the one who got shot/I respect the shooter” (“30 Something”). Drugs and alcohol appear in the form of crack, marijuana, cocaine, Cristal, Patron tequila and Dom Cuvée. Jay-Z also has a thing for Cuban cigars. His mentions of God frequently boomerang so as to apply divinity to himself (“Kingdom Come,” “Trouble,” “Oh My God”). Fans get lots of bling and bravado.
So much for all of that retirement talk in 2004. With his latest chart-topper, Jay-Z ties the Rolling Stones for the third most No. 1 albums in history (9), trailing only Elvis and The Beatles. This disc isn’t worth the hoopla.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.