Superman Returns (Mixtape)

Artist: DJ Mick BoogieTitle: Superman Returns (Mixtape)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Latifah Muhammad

Just when you thought the hunger pains from waiting for Jay-Z's new album to drop were too much, DJ Mick Boogie releases the Superman Returns to tide you over. This mixtape packages Jay's post-quasi retirement collaborations and remixes since The Black Album.

With a slew of sound bites from some of Jay's famous songs, the Superman Returns intro opens the door to why Hip-Hop needs Jay-Z, and why we're so happy that he's decided to come back. But in all honesty, did he ever leave? The album questions that very statement by putting together 28 songs, old, new, and unreleased, with features with everyone from Beyonce to Biggie.

On "Kingdom Come", Jay proclaims that he is Hip-Hop's savior. The honesty of this flow, finds him admitting that he was "sick of rap". But just when we thought that he'd been in the president's office too long, he's loosened his tie, ripped open his shirt and showed the "S" on his chest. Be it for "Superman," "Shawn" or "Savior", is up for debate. "Show Me What You Got", samples the same horns used on "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx –N- Effect while infusing pianos, and drums with a big band style swagger. Though the lyrics aren't as personal, Jay still manages to pull out a club smash. "Whatchu Want", a gritty Biggie collaboration, is a throw back to classic Biggie Smalls. (Before he was rocking back and forth in a speed boat with Diddy by his side.)

The album cleverly mixes interviews, where Jay speaks on being the president of Def Jam, retirement, and on Hip- Hop's lack of creativity. And since these days there's no Jay without Beyonce, "Deja Vu" and "Upgrade You" also make the tracklist.

Putting together a mixtape of mostly previously released material is no easy tasks. But the way that Mick Boogie strategically places one track after the next puts emphasis on Jay-Z the lyricist, making you listen that much harder to songs that you've heard before.