Fact: Jay-Z’s Blueprint featured one of rap’s all-time greatest intro tracks, “The Ruler’s Back.” There’s a science behind opening an album, and Hov sounded like a chemist with boastful bars and a simple, confident hook (if you want to call it that). And God bless it, the track hasn’t lost any potency 13 years later.
Rickie Jacobs clearly listened to a lot of Jigga (and probably some Beanie Sigel) growing up, because “Rocafella Intro 2002” is industry flattery of the greatest sort. Presented in a “if Jacobs was a Rocafella artist when Jay was wearing Knicks jerseys, this is what the intro to his album would sound like” light, the rap geek inside of me is just beaming right now. We’ve all had those hypothetical rap star fantasies before. Putting such homage on a track is just fun.
And, as far as concept songs go, it actually has a very official sound to it. The emcee’s lisp definitely adds something unique to his cocky, watch-out-world bars, and the beat sounds like it should be reverberating through some badass, Hip-Hop-friendly church.
In other words, imitation in the most respectful way. A concept song executed to perfection.
Look for Jacobs’ Remember To Smile, due in February.