Jay-Z last week released his newest record 4:44, and despite criticism about the record’s widespread availability (and it’s exclusivity to streaming service Tidal), critical reception has been almost universally positive. However, some critics have argued that 4:44 is a little “too smart”, but to the chagrin of many, including Public Enemy’s Chuck D.

One such critic of Jay-Z’s latest was 50 Cent, who likened it to “golf course music”, and noting that the record was “too smart”. As Billboard reports, in a now-deleted Instagram post, 50 Cent reviewed the album. “I listened to Jay sh–, that 4:44,” 50 said. “I thought the sh– was aight. I liked the sh–, but I’m gonna keep it 100: the sh– was too smart. I felt like I was supposed to be wearing glasses and tie a f—ing sweater around my waist. It was like Ivy League sh–.”

He complained though that, due to his age, Jay-Z is no longer the hip rapper that youngsters want to hear. “I’mma tell you the truth: N—as is hot out here. They don’t wanna hear that sh–. They just wanna have a good time. F— that. You can’t be the best rapper at 47, because the new n—as is here,” said 50, before adding “I ain’t gon’ hold you up. That sh– was like golf course music.”

Now Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has hit back at this criticism, saying that age has nothing to do with it, and that Jay-Z shouldn’t be expected to sculpt his work just to appeal to a younger, ‘club-going’ audience. “So some people [Jay-Z’s] album is too smart,” he began. “What level does a 47 year old man supposed to spit at? Club sht? What kind of club? lol.” “I mean I use to manage clubs etc before 1987. But I listen to RAP from auto & headphone & concert perspective & club dont figure how I buy.”

While both may have valid opinions, we can’t help but side with Chuck D on this one. After all, if an artist wants to make the music that they want to, who are we to say they’re wrong for doing so? Regardless, Jay-Z has made another brilliant album, and we can only hope that he continues to write the bars that he wants to write, regardless of whether they’re ‘too smart’ or not.

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