Open Letter : Jay – Z Song Review (The Ruler’s Back)

“Do you listen to music or do you just skim through it” – Hov aka Jay – Z aka God Emcee.

As I left work yesterday after spending the better part of my morning listening to Kid Cudi’s Indicud rather than slaving away I saw a tweet that said Jay – Z was dropping a new song in a few hours. At first I thought this was 1998 all over again. I got excited about the new Jigga joint like I was 17 again, smoking cigarettes in the pit latrine outside my dormitory in high school.


Then the jam dropped & I listened to it over some cheap brandy & the immediate thought was, “Damn! Did Nas ghostwrite this shit for Hova?” Then I remembered that Hov can ghostwrite for Nas & never vice versa. I digress. My point is that the jam “Open Letter” content is mad political with Hov going hard at his new found critics, the republicans who slammed him for his recent trip to Cuba.

If you don’t know, back in the 60s the US imposed an embargo in Cuba that means that no trade should go down between Uncle Sam (including his citizens) & Cuba. Hov & Bey travelling to Cuba & spending their crazy dollars violates this. That aside, I love that Hov is unapologetic on the record, destroying his foes just as he does emcees in battle.


However, I don’t care about the politics, I care about the music. I love what Swizzy & Timbo did with the beat considering that these two aging producers have been dropping shit beats in the past year or so. Tim must have handled most of the production though while Swizz yelled his ass off adlibbing & shit. They both redeemed themselves.


Hova’s flow is flawless as it usually is, riding the beat & not switching it up from beginning to end. With any other rapper it would get monotonous but not with the god emcee! To borrow from Slick Rick like Hov once did, “The driver of the mission is a pro!” Lyrically I love the word play, “Open Letter” has numerous quotables such as;

“You get too much bread/ they try to jam you” Get it? Bread (mulla) Jam (block)?

“I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef” Get it? Keef is 17, Hov buying a key for 17K?

“Got an onion from Universal/ read it & weep” POW!

“This communist talk is so confusing/ when it’s from China the very mic that I’m using” POW!

“Idiot wind/ the Bob Dylan of rap music” This one only classic rock heads can catch. Epic reference Hov!

“The new role model/ fuck the Zoolander shit!” You’ve watched the movie Zoolander right?

With that said, I love that Hov has brought attention back to real hip hop, I’m talking bars & beats while at the same time sparked conversation on the US embargo on Cuba & why it hasn’t worked in 40 some odd years! One thing though, I’d love to hear a third verse added to this, guest starring….the little homey Nas of course. That would be epic yo!


Meanwhile…..guess who dropped a new video? Your boy Chief Keef! Enjoy.



2 Responses to “Open Letter : Jay – Z Song Review (The Ruler’s Back)”

  1. Always so on point with your pieces Vic.
    Yes, the Ruler’s back!!!!

    ‘ola ‘ovito!!!!!!

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