audio review : Smile ( song ) … Jay-Z

Smile, the one notable song from Jay-Z’s 4:44 album, is a feel-good retrospection. The rapper shines; these bars stand among his all-time best; but the overall aesthetics must be credited to No ID and Stevie Wonder as the former samples a soulful ballad from the latter to create quite a delightful groove.

“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian,” Jay-Z says, though I’d argue that probably means she’s a bisexual, “Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian.” She also recites a poem, though the song would be better without that final bit, which abandons the unique rearrangement of the Stevie Wonder sample.

my rating = 4 of 5


audio review : 4:44 ( album ) … Jay-Z

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