One thing is for sure: Jay-Z is still on top of the rap game. The response to his latest track, “Open Letter,” proves that when Hova releases new material, we all sit up and listen. It’s been awhile since the Brooklyn MC has put out any new solo tracks, but this fiery one shows that he’s back with a vengeance. The content of these lyrics has got everyone talking, since not even close friend President Barack Obama is spared as Jay spits frustrated rhymes, mostly about that now-infamous trip to Cuba.
Don’t take the song as an indication that the musicmogul/sports agent is working on a new album — he recorded it on a whim with Timbaland and Swizz Beatz (because he’s Jay-Z and he can do those kinds of things) — but he’s certainly generating a lot of conversation with these rhymes. Head below to see what others across the Internet are saying about “Open Letter.”
:: The Huffington Post notes that Mr. and Mrs. Carter rarely address rumors, “but when they do, they don’t hold back” and says this latest track from Hov, like Bey’s “Bow Down,” represents “hip-hop’s royal couple flexing their musical muscles after keeping things politically correct during the 2012 election cycle. … It seems that now the election’s over, the couple fancies a return to hip-hop’s more aggressive style of stunting.”
:: “Hov looks to be set on transcending the public-servant realm,” SPIN says, calling the track a “magisterial, imperious new rant” and recognizing that Jay’s “taking the debate back to his own turf, rap, and he’s eviscerating all comers.”
:: The Atlantic says that “there’s a lot to like about the track—like a musician beefing with politicians through diss tracks, and hearing Chief Keef, Barack Obama, and Bob Dylan mentioned in the same breath,” but also says “the best part is that Jay is pissed.”
:: Billboard observes that “Jay-Z is not amused by the controversy surrounding his and Beyonce’s trip last week to Havana, Cuba,” and calls the rapper “inspired and frustrated.”
:: MTV notes that although the track probably “won’t beat down any Billboard charts, or rank among Jay-Z’s biggest hits,” it “delivers something more valuable: an immediate and intimate look to the mind of a man whose words are worth millions.”
:: Stereogum says that “for a last-second topical lark from some very rich people without much to prove, it’s pretty great.”