I don’t like Jay Leno one bit, and I assume you don’t either, because he’s a dopey old cornball whose best jokes even my mom sorta rolls her eyes at. But you’ve got to hand it to dude for booking Jay-Z, Kanye and Rihanna to appear on the September 14 debut of his sure to be awful Jay Leno Show. It’s three days after the scheduled release of The Blueprint III, so one can assume they’ll be performing its recently leaked first single, “Run This Town.”
I’ve been listening to this track a good deal in the past week or so, and I’m coming around on Jay’s verses a little. He does seem more engaged than I gave him credit for at first, specifically during some well-executed and unexpected lines about rebounding from financial hardship. I maintain that Kanye steals the spotlight, though, with what I think is his best verse since “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” from Gaduation. Rihanna sounds great, as usual: she’s far from the most powerful singer, but it’s all about tone with her—and when you’ve got people like Jay and Kanye who know how to get as much of it out of her as possible, look out.