Recording information: Carfire Stud-ios, Brooklyn, NY.
A Tribute to Jay-Z doesn't include the Brooklyn rapper's jaded, intellectual flow, and none of the unknown artists covering his songs here can really replicate him with any amount of flair. Nevertheless, this tribute is a testament to the strength of Jigga's songwriting, since the hits are still hits even without his top-notch production and his own flow on the mic. "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "Change the Game," and "I Just Wanna Love You" are perfect, beat-drenched anthems; "Hard Knock Life" works best. Annie sample removed, stripped to a barebones bass and piano line, with JT's vague British accent inflecting Jay-Z's words, the song makes something new out of the old, which is really what a cover song should be about. ~ Johnny Loftus