Let the frenzy begin.
“This is a state of emergency,” Jay-Z slowly warns over the blaring intro of “Show Me,” the first track from his highly anticipated comeback album, Kingdom Come, which, on Friday afternoon (October 6), leaked online (see “Jay-Z’s ‘Retirement’ Is Finally Over: New Album Due In November” ).
“What do you want me to do? I’m sorry. I’m back,” he added with a laugh.
With that, the Def Jam president launches into the Just Blaze-produced number, officially ending his three-year “retirement.”
While Jay-Z has always left open the possibility of coming out of retirement, referencing Michael Jordan’s comeback and donning the number 45 à la his Airness, Jay seems to have no intentions of basking in the twilight of his rap career. He maintains that he’s as fresh as ever — as fresh as Jordan in his prime or LeBron James in his.
“Shots of Patrón/ Now she in the zone/ I ain’t talking about the two-three/ Mami in the zone like the homie 23/ Jordan or James/ Makes no difference/ We all ballin’ the same.”
And if anyone thought Beyoncé would dim Hov’s playboy outlook, think again. “Show Me” is armed with a number of Jay-Z’s trademark one-liners directed at the ladies. Fellas, take note.
“I got a drop/ I just took off the top/ It’s your turn,” he quips.
The track, featuring a Lafayette Afro Rock Band sample most notably used in Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker,” is more musical than most Jay-Z lead singles. Just Blaze mixes stabbing horns with high-hat cymbals and pacing piano notes. The result is a high-energy, big-band production to match Jay-Z’s grand return.
Jay-Z’s comeback was one of the worst-kept secrets in recent entertainment history; producers Kanye West and Pharrell, rapper Young Jeezy and director Hype Williams all spilled the beans on their participation on the project. Def Jam hasn’t set an official date for the release of the track or accompanying video.