A title like "3 Kings" with a combo Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre certainly sounds ambitious. But if this was to be a royal coalition, they should have called in some reinforcements -- or at least for a livelier beat.
Dr. Dre spends his spin on hocking his now-famous headphones instead of delivering of some intrepid new rhymes. Nobody expects "Detox" anymore. But for those rare verses he throws down the pipe, he should rest on laurels that consist more than weed, his headphone company and the Compton memories from a decade before.
Rick Ross takes his turn shilling -- lest we forget -- the Maybach Music name, the name that survives despite the fact that actual Maybach vehicles will be discontinued after 2013, making service a struggle. And speaking of servicing, Ross concedes he may not be a billionaire yet, but proposes, still "come and suck a d*ck for a millionaire," a come-hither as comical as when a similar sentiment was expressed in "The Big Lebowski."
It's kind of refreshing, then, when Jay-Z steps up to bat, not because he knocks his verse out, but he trips and laughs at himself in a real free style, even to check that the tape's still rolling after a boast about getting grills and shopping at TJ Maxx.
Unfortunately, it also seems he's trolling the internet, particularly on a day like today, by dragging his new baby into the macho heart of the rap game with his parting words: "I love this sh*t like my own daughter / Let's spray these n*ggas, baby, just like daddy taught yah / Young, this is just different."
I'm looking forward to the Ross album because I feel like he can bat better than this. Lesson learned: call Dre only when he's ready to play. And give Hov all the tape he needs.
"3 Kings" is on "God Forgives, I Don't," out on Def Jam July 31.