Jay-Z - "Dear Summer" & "Renegade" feat. Eminem

On the eve of the release of his 11th solo album, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at a couple classic Jay tracks.

Not enough people have heard "Dear Summer," and it's surprising that Jay could release a relatively hidden gem in 2005 (but let's be honest, who buys Memphis Bleek albums and for good reason-this song by Jay-Z is better than anything else on 534).  The song is unusual because it is on his lablemates Bleek's 2005 album 534, but does not feature Memphis Bleek on the track.  The story goes that Jay, who was retired at the time, started freestyling over the beat when it came on and Bleek gave him the track and released it as a single.  It seemed appropriate to drop this track as, for many of us, Labor Day marks the end of summer with school starting and what not.  I love this song because it displays Shawn Carter's absolute love for hip hop (under the thinly veiled metaphor of summer) and in hindsight we can now see it as an example of him missing the culture and sense it as a prelude to his comeback.

"Renegade" is a classic collaboration between two of the greatest artists of all time.  A lot of people claim that Eminem killed Hova on this track off of The Blueprint, but I think they both murder the song and Em probably offers the best verses of his career, offering a commentary on the blame that society places upon him and hip hop in general.

The final piece to the Blueprint drops tomorrow.  I plan on copping a physical copy as soon as I'm capable of it.

Peace, Love, & Hova,
NYCentric Noah

"Dear Summer"

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