Complete with inaccurate artwork comes the “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” Remix. Jay-Z has entered the wobbling Wizards part of his career, still capable of averaging 20 a night but a shell of his former self. Forget being renegaded. The Internet always made too big of a deal about that. Eminem got him, sure, but just barely. This is…not good. I have sympathies for Jay. I’ve started playing hoops again and your body often doesn’t match up with your mind’s memory of your vintage moves. The slash to the hoop gets stripped. You suddenly need to box out lest you get out-leaped. It’s frustrating and it happens in rap. Jay is several steps slower to Kendrick. In his mind, he’s reverting to the fast rap flow he picked up from Kane and Jaz, but his tongue doesn’t twist right. The thing about Jay is that he was always silky-smooth. Rap as sleight of hand. Here, he seems clumsy, practically stumbling over his words. Up in the clouds? Me and my spouse? Somewhere Guru is spinning is his grave remembering Deck’s verse from way back when.
The truth is that neither of these guys is saying much here. Kendrick is name-dropping the Globetrotters, Black Swan, and Trinidad James. But his flow has the ability to change direction in mid-air. It has a grace that allows him to overcome the emptiness. Jay comes off like the old dude on the court who you respect for his past success and savvy, but wonder why he doesn’t use it to pick better spots on the floor. That’s not to say that he’s incapable of playing well in in 2013, but he has to play like a veteran. You can’t come in and coast the way you used to. He would have to write better lines, choose better match-ups, and if that fails find some mad scientists in Germany who can give him new knees.
Track below the jump.
Download: (via Nah Right)
MP3: Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay-Z – “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” (Left-Click)