Hyperbole is no strange element to hip-hop and rappers have been bigging up themselves ever since Wonder Mike liked to say “hello.” When these three guys however jump on a track together, “3 Kings” is more a statement of fact than one of confidence or ego. Any GOAT discussion is rendered moot when Jay-Z is not mentioned, Dr. Dre has been one of the most influential producers and businessmen in hip-hop and has been a major player for over 25 years and Rozay is, wether you like it or nor, the current top dog in this game of rap. Expectations are correspondingly high for this collaboration.
Beatsmith Jake Uno delivers a properly bangin’ organic track full of soulful piano keys and vocal samples with a smartly toned down chorus. The three adequately deliver verses about their riches and status with key elements that are lyrically echoed in their individual contributions, acting as a verbal estafette baton, i.e.: “You should listen to this beat through my headphones/ We should listen to this track in my Maybach” and “I only love it when her hair long/ I only love it when the ass fat/ I only love her if her eyes brown.”
Unfortunately, the greatest emcee on the track reverts to auto-pilot and doesn’t sound particularly challenged or inspired by those surrounding him. When the beat drops in the end and Jay goes on a capella, it’s a nice touch sonically but the words he’s spitting don’t merit the added attention brought to them. A beat drop underlines the lyrics like nothing else and provides the perfect set-up for a knockout punch. Jigga does not deliver a knockout punch. Rather, he makes motor bike sounds and sends a shoutout to his daughter before the song peters out. Dre advertising his headphones in the opening verse and Jay dropping a closing verse that’s very anticlimactic ultimately make a song that should’ve been epic but doesn’t reach beyond okay.