Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. While many will no doubt have set the bar of their expectations too high, Jay-Z has pulled out all of the stops on Kingdom Come.
  2. "Kingdom Come" is everything you expected.
  3. Kingdom Come follows the same sturdy formula as The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt, and The Blueprint, with a minimum of guests, a reasonable running time, and trendy beats from top producers. But the urgency just isn't there.
  4. People who hate the venality and misogyny of modern mainstream rap will find this a particularly joyless experience, but this unwavering and energising disc at least has the courage of its convictions and makes the immediate competition look like the mealy mouthed twats they are.
  5. At 37, he's still at the top of his game.
  6. The album doesn't reach the heights of the seminal Black Album but is an exciting opener to a hectic schedule for Def Jam.
  7. Four duds out of 14 tracks isn't a fireable offense. But shouldn't the corner-office mogul demand more of his top earner?
  8. This is far from being a bad album - Jay has never made one of those, nor given the impression he is capable of doing so - but it rarely rises to the levels he has consistently reached.
  9. On Kingdom Come, the highs are really high, and the lows are really low.
  10. His ambitions and self-awareness have grown nearly as much as his net worth. [2 Dec 2006]
  11. Kingdom Come is a solid record, and entirely worth the cost just to hear Jay-Z spit a new song, but in the end it just can’t live up the expectations it tattoos all over itself.
  12. At its best, Kingdom Come is about possibility. At its worst, it pales in comparison to past albums.
  13. If he wants to save hip-hop, as he claims, Jay-Z needs to think beyond his usual game. He has the smarts and experience; perhaps his next comeback will show more royal ambition.
  14. 60
    Whilst a gift for converting arrogance into entertainment has always been one of Jay-Z’s strongest suits, Kingdom Come skirts perilously close to the showboating that marred 2002’s bloated double album, The Blueprint 2.
  15. 60
    He never quite rises to this lofty occasion, and without anything to prove other than that he can come back whenever he pleases, he reverts to gloating. [Jan/Feb 2007, p.81]
  16. Kingdom Come is exactly the kind of rote product Jay-Z seemed to want to avoid when he "retired": It's a victory lap without a victory, a rare instance of a rap superstar blowing his own horn and yet sounding half-hearted about it.
  17. He's grown up, alright. With the energy Jay brings to most of these tracks, you'd think 30 was the new 60.
  18. A display of complacency and retreads.
  19. If all of Jigga's future records sound as labored and flat as Kingdom Come, do we really need him back?
  20. Kingdom Come is Jay-Z at his least inspired, and, yes, that includes the R. Kelly collaborations.
  21. “Kingdom Come,” then, captures the sound of a grown-up rapper trying to make a grown-up album -- whatever that means. It’s a fascinating experiment, and a halfway successful one.
  22. Its problems are both wide-reaching and acute, an album full of tiny misfired rhymes and shiny-dildo drum hits that add up to what I’ll go ahead and label Jigga’s second worst record, after 2002’s abysmal The Blueprint 2.0.
  23. Jay proves that, yes, he really has nothing more to say except to state the fact that he's back.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 49
  2. Negative: 10 out of 49
  1. Aug 15, 2013
    6
    Admittedly, to return after a short hiatus and having to follow-up one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time is not an easy task. And sadly, Jay-Z didn’t succeed in that with Kingdom Come. It’s not as bad as some insult it to be, but Carter only shows his ingenuity at few moments and also disappoints with almost everyone of his featured artists safe John Legend who additionally spices up one of the album’s finest moments, an emotional message to an imprisoned friend of Jay-Z. The only bad moments of the record are Anything and Hollywood, two consecutive disappointments merely focused on creating a radio-friendly tune without substance. The rest of Kingdom Come is mostly a forgettably unspectacular assemblage of the same old topics and the New York hip hop old hand exercising himself in mediocrity. Double entendres and stunning rhyme schemes are present, yet only in a handful of outstanding songs, namely Lost One, Trouble, Minority Report, and Beach Chair. All in all, this makes for an album better than Jay-Z’s Vol. series as well as The Dynasty, but simply not enough for what he already proved to be capable of. Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    8
    When i first heard the album i was not impressed but going back to it years later makes this album good. jay Z was ahead of the pack with this album. Classic club songs like "hollywood" and lyrically great songs like "lost ones" and "beach chair" make this album. Full Review »
  3. MusicLover
    Oct 21, 2007
    10
    Jay-Z definitely gets a little more experimental on this album. He's got those casino-type beats & a cool collaboration with Chris Martin. Lyrically, he ranges from topics like Hurricane Katrina & his nephew to Hollywood & getting older. This album really brings Jay-Z back into the game after his "retirement". I don't know if American Gangster will be this good, but I hope so. Full Review »