Unkut Doesn’t Care About Jay-Z People
Wednesday September 16th 2009,
Filed under: BK All Day,Features,Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion
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Jay-Z is the most influential rapper of the past ten years, but I only own one of his records. Have I failed as a rap fan, or is Jay just not that incredible? Looking back, we weren’t off to the best of starts as far as the artist/listener relationship is concerned. While he did his thing on a few tracks with The Jaz (‘It’s That Simple’ and ‘The Originators’), he fell flat when he jumped on a track from Big L‘s debut with a not yet refined technique. ‘Dead Presidents’ and ‘Ain’t No Nigga’ were ill, but the whole Champagne Rap feel to much of Reasonable Doubt took the shine off it, despite some exceptional moments such as ‘Regrets’. Raised on LL Cool J and T La Rock, Jay’s whiny vocal tones lacked the punch that my ear expected from an MC, although his wit and sarcasm impressed nevertheless. As he courted Pop Life with his Timbaland, Neptunes and Swizz Beats records, I had even less reason to pay attention, despite Jay throwing the hardcore crowd the occasional DJ Premier-produced Scooby snack.

I pretty much missed the whole Blueprint revolution as well, although I enjoyed the declaration of supremacy that is ‘The Takeover’, which is a powerhouse compared to the wimpy musical backing of ‘Ether’. The song that finally got me to lay down cash to cop vinyl was, predictably, ’99 Problems’ (aka every white kid’s favorite Jay-Z record). ‘Big Beat’ + Guitar Stabs + Ice-T hook + strong vocal performance = Unkut Approved. ‘Dear Summer’ and ‘Success’ are some other superior Jay-Z moments, but he’s never hit me the way that Kool G Rap made an impact with ‘Men At Work’ or ‘Streets of New York’. There’s nothing on his Unplugged session that knocks as hard as Big Daddy performing ‘Wrath of Kane’ at the Apollo. A Jay-Z record never had the impact that listening to Rakim’s ‘Follow The Leader’ had the first time I threw it on the turntable after I racked it from the record store. The fact that I’m not as young and easily impressed as I might have been back then has nothing to do with it – there are still tracks today that hit make me wanna break something (P Brothers ‘Blam Blam For Nottingham’ and Roc Marciano‘s ‘Snow’ being two examples). What did I miss?

Now that he’s making bored Millionaire Rap for wanna-be millionaire’s to listen to, there’s little hope that Jay-Z will ever convert me to his legion of Stans. It would be easy jump to the conclusion that I must be some angry backpacker, but no dice. I have even less regard for Vegetarian Rap than I do for the Champagne variety…actually, it’s White Wine Rap now, isn’t it? How could I have missed it before – that’s my whole issue! As whiskey-with-a-beer-chaser type of drinker, there was never a hope in high hell that I would ever enjoy extended bouts of Champagne or Wine Rap. It’s like oil and water – that shit just doesn’t mix. You know who fucks with beer and scotch? M.O.P. No wonder I’ve bought everything they’ve ever released – they know how to drink.


92 Comments so far
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Jay-z without question is the most”manufactured” so called HipHop star ever,this post is long in coming.I admit to being a fan of-Reasonable Doubt but it ends there,this dude waited out the East West war…and claimed this alledged”throne”of N.Y.,NO ONE gave a damn about Jay prior to ’98.
During that-BOOMBAP era,..hell during that-PUFFY era..know one knew this dude,who continues to claim “kingdom”without aknowledging the greats before him…respect to-Kane,G.RAP,KRS&Chuck D.

Comment by R.Jones 09.16.09 @

Co-sign on the title and your thoughts on Mr. Carter.

“I pretty much missed the whole Blueprint revolution as well”

I wouldn’t say you missed it, Robbie.

/office_space

Comment by Theotis Jones 09.16.09 @

i agree Robbie. I was never a fan of Reasonable Doubt, though it had a few good tracks on there…but jay can be clever, he just puts me to sleep…”Millionaire Rap” is is right…Yawn…..

Comment by jay 09.16.09 @

Being a Rum & Coke drinker, I must agree Robbie. I laughed myself into tears reading this. You finally figured it out for me. HA!

Comment by Tony 'Bones' Harrison 09.16.09 @

i have long thought he was the most over-rated!…

Comment by RowanB 09.16.09 @

Good call Robbie, I respect that he’s quite a good writer but I’m not really very interested in Jay Z.

Comment by cratedigga78 09.16.09 @

you don’t fuck with that forty ounce, you don’t fuck with that Jack and Coke, you probably wont feel what’s on my turntable either, some real nice points here Robbie. Dead Presidents and 99 Probs are the only two records by the witch that I have. Dead Presidents ’cause back then I bought every 12″ with a Nas cut for the hook, and 99 Probs ‘cuz it’s Rick Rubin duh.

Comment by JUMBOTRON 09.16.09 @

“….who continues to claim “kingdom”without aknowledging the greats before him.”

Kool G Rap and Grandmaster Caz was acknowledged.
“Reasonable Doubt”, “Kingdom Come”, “American Gangster” and “TBP3″ are pretty good records.

Comment by Stieflkater 09.16.09 @

To each is own i agree to disagree… I definitely would say otherwise, but if you ask you favorite G-Rap for one told me himself he fucks with Jay and I just seen a Rakim interview where he say Jay that nigga and Kane cosigned him early on if the Mount Rushmore of Mc’s say Jay that nigga and his catalouge consistency to surpass other mc’s effort then it is what it is
He’s the Billy = The G.O.A.T

“Gets Your C.D out Let’s Go Song for Song Im the Illest nigga doing it To ya Prove me Wrong”

P.S We All forgave Big Daddy Kane Purple Suit/Playgirl Cover and he crossed over and broke two ankles.

Comment by CashRlue 09.16.09 @

THE DYNASTY AND BLUEPRINT 1 ARE HIS BEST WORK TO ME. UNDERSTAND THAT HE CREATED HIMSELF AND HIS LANE…HE AINT SOLDJA BOY OR WAYNE, LET’S BE REAL NOW. I AGREE HE’S ABIT OVER-RATED, BUT IF NOT FOR HIM AND WHO HE CO-SIGNED, SHIT COULDA BEEN ALOT WACKER ON THE AIR-WAVES DURING HIS SHINE TIME

Comment by TYBO2020 09.16.09 @

I agree 100%. To me, he does not have one classic album in his catalog and his best work is his first album, which is the only one I’ve ever purchased and it’s still not great. The biggest problem we have in the last 10 to 12 years is that with the losses of Tupac, Biggie, Big L, and Big Pun and the weirdness of Nas, Jay has quietly been given thsii manufactured star status. Just imagine if all of those people were still living today. There’s no way he’d be this popular.

Comment by Vincent 09.16.09 @

sure you right.raw unkut.

Comment by swordfish 09.16.09 @

Now who has the most Stans?

Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and I hate Swizz Beats and Pharrel’s and Timbo’s productions as much as the next man.

But there is no sleeping on So Ghetto, Can I Live, Kingdom Come, Hello Brooklyn etc. etc.

And saying Jay wouldn’t be a hit if the dead rappers were still alive is just retarded.

Comment by SeventhSun 09.16.09 @

Jay-Z’s always been the rapper that I for some reason claim to like while seeing all of his work as sub-par compared to other rappers of his supposed stature. Reasonable Doubt was good, but how it’s a “classic” to some kids now is ridiculous. It’s all opinion, but still. Still not exactly understanding the hype around The Blueprint, or Nas’s Stillmatic for that matter.

Comment by Soltan 09.16.09 @

Countdown until this turns into a fully fledged Nas vs. Jay-Z fanboy slobberknocker starts…..now.

Jay’s apex wasn’t the overjocked Reasonable Doubt era but his 1997 stuff like Where I’m From, Million And One Questions/</Rhyme No More + the extended mix of Million And One Questions, Streets Is Watching, Imaginary Player + Rap Game Crack Game from Volume 1 and his verse on Sauce Money’s Pre-Game.

Even though the guy has an annoying blandness about him, only a fool or a Sage Francis fan could deny those songs.

Comment by MF 09.16.09 @

VH1 rap

Comment by JP 09.16.09 @

Yea I totally agree. Jay does has some good records, but they have to picked and choose. Only reasonable doubt can be considered a classic album. If he was the best lyricist i could probably listen to the millionaire rap, but honestly, I think lyrically he has fallen back (almost off).

Comment by TheR 09.16.09 @

The good songs on Vol. 1 are his best songs

Comment by TheR 09.16.09 @

I bought the CD single of Big Pimpin, the only Jigga record I ever owned. I loved Girls Girls Girls and BK We Go Hard is fantastic, but he just doesnt appeal to me on the mic generally

We dont have to like everything, I hate that idea in hiphop. I dont own any Beatles records either and I love 60s rock music. Certain aesthetics appeal to certain people.

Personally I would rather hear Dres or Chip Fu or Lil Fame on a mic than I would most of the guys supposedly competying for KONY. Have I failed as a rap fan? I could give two shits

Comment by Jeffluv 09.16.09 @

Jay to me had a good run from his 1st LP all up to the Blueprint. That run he had from those LP’s alone was definetly great and memorable.
But since then, he doin what he wants to do. and u can do that once u established ur self as a artist thats in his categorie.
But Jay will always go down as one of the greats, whether u over analyze his music like u do or while others appreciate what he does.
what he did was pretty impressive.
please people stop the hate.

Comment by Brandan E. 09.16.09 @

WHO GIVE’S A FUCK!FUCK JAY-Z,NAS,ETC…..THEY DONT CARE WHAT ANYBODY THINKS!I’M NOT A JAY FAN BUT HE MAKE’S SOME GOOD RECORDS BROOKLYN WE GO HARD,ROC BOYZ,THE BLUEPRINT WAS HIS BEST WORK.AGAIN WHO CARE’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Silent 09.16.09 @

Scotch and Soda drinker myself…

This post is about Rap Music… Let’s get back to the Hip Hop!

Comment by Ausar 09.16.09 @

I drink cheap brandy, so MOP and G Unit mixtapes for me

Comment by Bang 09.16.09 @

jay-z = meh

Comment by er4se 09.16.09 @

That album he did with Linkin Park? Straight garbage. UNFORGIVABLE WACKNESS.

Comment by Marc Oz 09.16.09 @

Totally agree with you re: Takeover vs Ether.
Not that Nas’s response was terrible, but to me it just sounded like desperation. If you aren’t firing first, you gotta do something special.(the topic has been done to death though so.. yeah)

Reasonable Doubt is classic for the wordplay alone in my book, intricate as hell.

I don’t mind the millionaire rap. Not my favourite style but at least he’s being straight with the audience for them to take or leave it. If he was still getting mileage out of his crack selling days it would be harder to listen to for mine.

Heard BP3 for the first time the other day and was impressed up until about track 9. Then it was downhill but overall better than expected.

Comment by Apples 09.16.09 @

I have never liked Jay-Z since he first blew-up, and have never payed any attention to him. I agree with most of what you said. I just have always found him boring; I don’t care for his subject matter; and he seems pretty milquetoast and whitebread to me.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 09.16.09 @

I have to say, I liked Reasonable Doubt, but then could care less for Jigga. That is until, and I know I am in the minority here, the Unplugged joint. I didn’t like the LP versions of almost all of those songs, but I felt that Unplugged performance. Maybe because the Roots influence, who knows?

Comment by BIGSPICE 09.16.09 @

Great post,no hate….

Comment by ole dirty marmot 09.16.09 @

“There’s nothing on his Unplugged session that knocks as hard as Big Daddy performing ‘Wrath of Kane’ at the Apollo.”<—what an excellent comparison. When that beat comes in, and the crowd goes wild, I get chills damn near every time. Seeing Jay sell out the garden is pretty mind blowing, but there is def an absence that is felt in comparison to that show at the apollo.

Comment by SUPERBADEMCEESOLACE 09.16.09 @

Aight, I’m probably going to come off as a Jay-Z Stan, especially because I don’t post here that often, though I read regularly. But here goes…

Reasonable Doubt stands up to any other hip hop album, IMO. You don’t have to agree it’s that good, but anybody who claims it is not a really good album strains credibility. Let’s leave the hyperbole to the teenyboppers.

Truth be told, if you go through his career Jay has A LOT of dope records. Album wise, only Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album, and the vast majority of Volume 1 get my full endorsement, but he’s got mixtape gems for days!

Co-sign w/ MF, with the exception of the In My Lifetimes, most of my favorite Jay shit comes from the era he cited. Add to what he mentioned, Dead or Alive, both versions, Foundation, Behind the Ropes, all those extended Team Roc mixtape joints, Celebrate, his shit on the Funk Flex Vol II, etc.

And, sometimes, it’s worth taking a three dimensional view of these artists/ Jay didn’t fall off so much as he grew up.

We all tend to judge our rappers based on what we want out of them, but if you think about Jay’s life, it makes perfect sense why you don’t get material like you did in ’99. He’s worth hundreds of millions, he’s a cultural icon, and a successful business man, etc. Rap is no longer his life.

Dude lives the life of a Fortune 500 CEO, when the fuck does he have time to do the shit he used to? Though rap is what originally made him, it’s reduced to a hobby in a life that is about much more. And, we all know that as we get older, more successful and inherit new responsibilities, we have less time for our hobbies. That’s the reality, and it’s been so for a while.

I’m a fan of dope hip hop music, and Jay-Z has given as me a whole lot of it. For that I’m grateful. And that’ the signal, everything else is just noise.

Comment by digglahhh 09.16.09 @

“The song that finally got me to lay down cash to cop vinyl was, predictably, ‘99 Problems’ (aka every white kid’s favorite Jay-Z record)”

Seriously.

Other than that, I (a) agree entirely, (b) agree with commenters that the good stuff on Volume 1 is probably his peak. Although, technically he’s pretty strong on the highlights of Blueprint 2, and Volume 3 has some great moments (‘So Ghetto,’ ‘Come and Get Me’).

Comment by Tray 09.16.09 @

What kind of fries me all this is that its almost cool to not like Jay anymore. In terms of people who consider themselves real heads saying “I never fucked with it” or “RD was average” whatever whatever. (I know you all were in the club sangin big pimpin’ trying to dame dash some females) The bottom line is Jays catalog is unmatched. I am far from a stan, illmatic shits on RD, along with a slew of other albums, but Jay has dropped gems for a long time, while others… cough.. nasir, stopped long ago. We can talk about whomever, but the bottom line is its hard to go song for song with Jay.

Comment by Hud 09.16.09 @

i share the same sentiments..powerful observation

Comment by slo 09.16.09 @

Another great article I %100 co-sign.
I can’t stand this guy.
“Now that he’s making bored Millionaire Rap for wanna-be millionaire’s to listen to”
Exactly.
This shit he’s making now isn’t for us, it’s for his celebrity peoples and what you said.

And the kid who said rap would be wacker w/out him cause of his co-signs, smh.
He’s made shit worse with the people he screwed over to keep the spotlight on himself.
Maaan..fuck a jz.

Comment by verge 09.16.09 @

vol 3 was dope.come and get me,nymp,theres been a murder…intro and outro were super dope too…

Comment by j.jordan 09.17.09 @

Jay-Z has 3 albums I like, which is 3 more than I can say for most rappers. I wasn’t a fan of Reasonable Doubt when it came out but I’ve grown to appreciate it. Not a classic though. I do really like The Blueprint and American Gangster. American Gangster was the best album of that year (2007?). I consider it Reasonable Doubt 2.

He really seems done with rap though. In his interviews he just seems boring and disengaged. Really just going through the motions. Blueprint 3 should be re-named Kingdom Come 2.

Comment by Finally 09.17.09 @

this is t.v. dinners i.e. microwave rap.

Comment by ben profane 09.17.09 @

Jay-Z is litle girls music.
agree on a couple of good songs on his debut, but he is the main reason hip-hop sold out. fuck him.

Comment by Arkitek 09.17.09 @

Never got the hype. Best rapper ever? G.O.A.T? Don’t make me laugh. Guy’s just a marketing machine making music for 12 year olds.

Comment by BigT 09.17.09 @

He was good and has had a lot of dope joints over the years, but he is wack now and folks don’t see that . He has become more and more wack over the years and BP 3 is the proof, the beats are lame and the content is redundant and his is flow sucks ,trying to rhyme like one of these new kids on the block in order to be current and get the teens to feel him. He is a grown ass man now, yeah he has a lot of money and that’s peace, he worked for it. Bp 3 is wack and should have been called Kingdom 2.LOL
He should either fall back and do other things or get back to it hard body, if he keep putting out this BS… He is gonna tarnish the legacy he has.

Comment by yep yep 09.17.09 @

It´s funny some the stuff I read,because I have followed Jay since the Jaz,original flavour,big daddy kane and mic geronimo apperances and I saw the potential he had.
His first 12″ on PayDay records was dope,both a-sides and b-sides,and he evolved with the times.
He has many classics but perhaps many of you want to ignore the influence he has had on trends and styles of many other rappers.
He is a mc´s mc and that makes him a contender for GOAT .

Comment by fightmundi 09.17.09 @

Robbie,

Don’t feed into this revisionist bullshit. Jay’s current weak music, his overinflated ego, and his lame fanbase doesn’t detract from his past work.

The same thing has happened to LL, KRS, and even Primo.

Comment by gordon gartrelle 09.17.09 @

None but none is holy or pure in this game. Name a classic album with no flaws. Name a crew with no slip ups and I’ll show you a perpetually local crew or a never was. Paid in Full is my alltime fav album but even IT has Chinese Arithmetic that makes me yearn for fingernails on the chalkboard over Eric B’s horrible handicapped tranformer scratching. I met Rakim at Zakia records in 1986. In 2009, the God MC put Jay Z at the top of his list – is the best ever to do it lying or mistaken? Or has Jay Z really been impressing heads with some WTF did he say lines and rhyme patterns for almost, what, nearly 20 years now?!?!?!

Comment by Qrush 09.17.09 @

Rakim > Jay -Z
I think that sums it up

Comment by Pro black 09.17.09 @

i always thought that jay z was completely over rated

Comment by red dirt 09.17.09 @

I kinda feel ya. I own Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint and The Black Album…. all dopeness in my opinion. I think alot of people get sidetrack b/c of Jay’s starpower. But his flow, wordplay, wittiness and ability to pick ill track can’t be over looked. Its no way I can hate on Jay-Z….the dude is straight up ILL on the MIC!!!

Lyrically….(When them tops come down, chicks tops come down
Like when them shots come out, make cops come around
When them blocks come out I can wake up a small town
Finish off the block then I make my mall rounds
Stares get exchanged then the fifth come out
The tough guy disappear, then the bitch come out
“That’s him!” I’m usually what they whisper ’bout
Either what chick he with, or his chip amount
Cause I been doin’ this since C*H*I*P*S was out
Watchin Erik Estrada, baggin up at the Ramada
Table full of powder, AC broke
‘Bout to take another shower on my twenty-fifth hour
Spike Lee’s everywhere, game on the flight
You might see me anywhere, day in the life
Only thing changed the tail number on the flight
I can touch down and take off the same night.)

For the record G-rap is my dude… definitely the illest of all time. Rakim, KRS… i can go on but no need.

Peace….

Comment by sarkastixxx 09.17.09 @

Missed out on the revolution too. I remember him from a Chubby Chub mix tape back in ’95 or ’96 but I’ve never bought any of his albums.

Comment by PL 09.17.09 @

I respect the opinions of others, but don’t agree. Jay is one of the best to do it. His solo discography is unmatched by many. Other than Ghostface, Nas, KRS-One, Ice Cube, Scarface, KGR, and some others…who has a better discography?

Someone said his music is redundant? Really? I think OB4CLII is a better album, but isn’t Rae rehashing stuff he isn’t doing at 42 years old?

Jay has 3 classic albums: RD, BP, BA, and I think Vol. 1 is a classic. What solo artist can match that?

Comment by Thomas 09.17.09 @

I love Rakim but at this stage is he better than Jay? I suppose he has longevity but his relevance has waned greatly in his post Eric B career. Rakim is still and was far ahead of his peers then and now but a lot of emcees did take his style and run with it. Nas and Jay are fruits of Rakim and did improve his formula and further rap as an artform imo.

Regardless of people’s opinions on RD, it is a classic album as is The Blueprint. Not feeling Jay is different to thinking he isn’t a great artist.

Comment by Victor 09.18.09 @

I used to listen to a lot of commercial radio and often times Jay was the only one gettin any play. He used to be my favorite and then I stopped listening to commercial radio and started listening to some of the greats (big l, D.I.T.C., G Rap, Scarface etc…) and realized that there was so many more artist out their that I had heard of but never listened to. So J was kind of a favorite because i didn’t know any better. I’ve still gotta lot of his music and listen to it from time but he’s no longer my favorite. That being said I think he has some great songs, D’evils, Can I live, Can’t knock the hustle, never change, politics as usual, this can’t be life (Segil and face), song cry, coming of age). I’ve also heard him pay homage to G Rap in one of his songs. He also said in one of his songs, something along the lines of he would rap more like common and talib but he was trying to get paid. He may not be your favorite but you’ve got to admit that he can spit, strong word play etc. I think cats hate on him because he’s got commercial success.

Comment by dj 09.18.09 @

Which brings to question, who the hell really wants to rhyme like Talib Kweli or Common (now)?

Comment by Soltan 09.18.09 @

A lot of these post in reading seems to come heads that remind me of our parents opinion of hip hop in the 70s & 80. You guys want him to make 96 style music in 2010. Give Bp3 a serious listen.Jay addresses what I’m saying on songs like off that .This is coming from a guy that grew up in the BX and attended all the jams (Cold Crush,Fantastic 5,Force mcs.& anyone else u can name from then. The reason u guys like some of his music is because he made the rest for the club goers and mainstream crowd. That actually proves his greatness. What makes u think that kind of music is easy to make? He’s real about where he is in life now.

Comment by kenny Patt 09.18.09 @

Also, why does an artist that is so manufatured and boring attract the most comments on an underground site?

Comment by kenny Patt 09.18.09 @

LOL theres a lot i like about this site but supreme elitism has got to go. Proper dated ideologies. Cos Jay-Z sells well none of his music is “interesting”. Its a bit much to relegate the dude to rick ross status!

Comment by Victor 09.18.09 @

“what are you talking about, you are an idiot robbie, jay-z is teh best rapper evar, hes better than kool g rap and m.o.p. combined, not even if you squished 2pac and biggie into one rapper would the congolomo be better than jay-z”

okay now that we’ve gotten the stan comment out of the way which i’ll no doubt read somewhere in the comments, i think jay-z is mega-meh, i really only liked 99 probs, ain’t no nigga, and marcy to hollywood, i never really liked jay, i hated on him since the days of being a pac fan and pac telling me he hated jay also, at least on the bootleg leaks that were out at the time, of course pac hated mobb deep too and eff that prodigy is still spittin heat so i don’t know where my logic was on that one, plus now dude parlays with the prez and oprah, i guess if you slang enough crack to kids and destroy your community, you too can parlay with the richest black lady in the world and the most powerful black dude in the world

Comment by gstatty 09.18.09 @

i own the black album and his first single i cant get wit that…oh and show and prove…but odb kills that record…i dont know…just gotta sound off

Comment by Mercilesz 09.18.09 @

Jay has his moments, but every time I hear Royce murder another one of his beats, I realize Jay’s pretty sub par in terms of vocal presence and lyricism. I really loved the Blueprint album though!!!

Comment by Brock 09.18.09 @

Remember when the makers of Cristal said they didn’t like all these rappers namechecking their shit…and Jigga, who’s been their spokesman since 1996, threw a Kanye-fit over it, calling them RACISTS? HILARIOUS!

Comment by Phil Watts, Jr. 09.19.09 @

I’m not speculating on the motives of anybody in particular, but the phenomenon of elitist fans of any genre manufacturing a movement against a great of the genre in order to prove that their sensibilities and knowledge is that much more finely tuned than everybody else is not new.

What’s more, in the hip hop community, that shit is cyclical too. Once the Jay-Z is overrated movement sweeps the masses, he’ll be supplanted as the most relevant and popular rapper. The, over time his popularity will wane even further. Then, he’ll try to come back and put own something truly wack. Then the next generation of kids, totally disconnected from Jay’s prime will just laugh at how wack that guy is. Then the same guys who started the movement in the first place will come to his rescue, feeling forced the educate the kids about how Jay is a legend, and about all the obscure, dope as shit he did. …Yet another manufactured opportunity to assert your own superiority.

That’s the cycle. Appreciate the dude. Hate on him. Then tell the next generation how dope he was and how much better he is than the dudes trying the mimic his steez now.

This shit happened with LL. It happened with Mase. It happened with KRS. It happens all the time.

I’m a hip hop snob too, but not feeling his recent music is not a reason to hop on the Jay-Z sucks bandwagon.

Comment by digglahhh 09.19.09 @

^ People thought Mase was dope?

Comment by Robbie 09.19.09 @

I just think it’s an era thing. People who grew up in the late-80s/early-90s and have generally refused to let that time period go will forever not like Jay as much as some younger people do. The same way there’s people who loved the entire ’80s and weren’t crazy about the early-90s. Jay represents people who were still into hip-hop after 1996 and didn’t mind the fact that it wasn’t all about KRS and Rakim anymore. His music as a whole speaks for itself, and he has def. rightfully had his time at the top.

Some people think that certain rappers’ deaths made his success possible, but I disagree because if it were that easy, ANYONE could’ve stepped into that spot. That’s like saying Biggie and Pac wouldn’t have been successful if the guys who were the shit before them didn’t step out of the way. Artists make it on their own merit, and he did so.

I could just be making a sweeping generalization, but a lot of people who don’t care for Jay or any of his music post-Reasonable Doubt also happen to be those who’ve mostly disliked everything in popular hip-hop music since the late-90s. True or not?

-D!

Comment by DANJ! 09.19.09 @

If you ask most of the same people on the “Jay-Z is wack, never liked him” parade, what else they don’t like… it usually all boils down to the same thing: they didn’t like DMX, they didn’t like Mase, they never liked Cam’ron, they never cared much for The Lox, they only like Eminem’s pre-Aftermath stuff, they’ve never liked a single track by Timbaland, The Neptunes, or Swizz Beatz… they don’t like Common for some unexplained reason, they thoroughly dislike Kanye, they don’t like Joe Budden although they’ve never heard anything but “Pump It Up”… and yet, they’d bump the shit out of a new KRS album even though they know he hasn’t made a great album in Y-E-A-R-S. It’s a generation thing- they didn’t like hip-hop 12 years ago any more than they do now.

Comment by DANJ! 09.19.09 @

That thing on his head says it all, YOU A DICKHEAD JAY.Hope them shits is bulletproof, coz its squirrel shooting season. haha. nuff said.

Comment by Fresh 09.19.09 @

I am with Robbie, who the fuck thought Mase was dope???!!!??

Comment by BIGSPICE 09.19.09 @

^^Mase was pretty big with the hooked-on-phonics crowd i hear

Comment by dj blendz 09.20.09 @

Hey Robbie!

Sorry to upset you, but, um…

“Co-Signer: Kool G Rap
“That dude is a genius with his craft. He’s got all the qualities that it takes for somebody to blow up to superstardom. He’s got character, he’s got lyrics, he knows how to put songs together. His wittiness. I’m the type of rapper that I try to make my stuff as witty as possible. Jay-Z comes up with some real clever lines to say. From the time he came out up till now, he grew musically — not so much lyrically. He was crazy lyrical on his first album. He grew musically as far as what plays on that radio and what bumps in that club. I think he just mastered that sh–. Dude is in a class by himself. Dudes ain’t even touching him as far as I’m concerned.”"

http://www.mtv.com/bands/h/hip_hop_week/2006/emcees/index11.jhtml

RUH ROH!!!!

Comment by Scotty Mac 09.20.09 @

“Jay has his moments, but every time I hear Royce murder another one of his beats, I realize Jay’s pretty sub par in terms of vocal presence and lyricism. I really loved the Blueprint album though!!!”

I like Royce, but tell me what classic album he has in his discography? Or tell me what classic song he has in his catalog?

Don’t have to like dude, but be real now.

Comment by Thomas 09.20.09 @

Personally I only care about Jay-Z when he has tracks produced by Premier with 99 Problems being the only exception. Most overrated mc ever.

Comment by ceedub 09.21.09 @

I do not think it is a generation thing. Anybody would admit they would like to hear something new and refreshing. I would be hard to argue that a bill russel fan would not want to even fathom the notion that Micheal Jordan is better (For argument sake).
Really have to look at the time period when hip-hop became a machine for corporate America, and the message rappers were saying was a formula towards money and not something that came from the heart.
That sums up jay-z no heart, and listen to people who have one.

Comment by Pro Black 09.21.09 @

http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=57661

Comment by sarkastixxx 09.21.09 @

I know I’m late on this, but still wanted to through my 2 pence worth into the ring.

I’m kinda opposite to a lot of folks on this topic – I was never much of a Jay-Z fan in the early days. I found his verse on ‘Can I Get Open’ to be the worst of the lot, and other than Scoob’s godawful English accent, he was entirely overshadowed by everyone on ‘Show & Prove’. When ‘Ain’t No N*gga’ dropped, I hated it, not least for the played out break and the unforgivable introduction to the truely abysmal Foxy Brown.

As a result, I pretty much ignored Jay’s catalogue of music, aside from the unavoidable radio hits, which I really never cared for, and wrote him off as being extremely overrated.

It was only around the time of ‘The Black Album’ that I really took notice of Jay’s skills as an emcee. As a result I went back and checked his previous albums and was surprised to thoroughly enjoy a lot of his tracks. Since then I’ve been well and truely converted and consider myself a fan. ‘The Black Album’ was great, as was ‘American Gangster’, and ‘Blueprint’ and ‘Reasonable Doubt’, I’d consider borderline classics.

Comment by Mark 563 09.21.09 @

This post misses the point that Jay-Z make clear in every record. Jay-Z is not a rapper. Jay-Z is a hustler who happens to rap. Marcy to Millionaire… stop the hate.

Comment by Methodub 09.21.09 @

^^that’s the most played-out excuse for a rapper to come up with when he aint got no skills..Jigga early 90′s had it,nowadays he just goin thru the motions..u can tell by the subpar music he makin now.

Comment by dj blendz 09.21.09 @

the early-90s? Homie was just spittin’ “jiggedy-jiggedy-Jay” nonsense most of the time… I would say he became MUCH better after he started covering some actual subject matter and calmed all that tongue-twisting shit down. Jay’s verses speak for themselves, and how they can be denied is beyond me. Even if his music isn’t exactly your cup of tea, he’s still lyrically contributed a LOT of great verses to the game. he’s able to alternate between “simple” verses and verses that have a bit more depth, and they both cover the ground they’re supposed to cover- there’s not a lot of people who can do that. they’re either all-intricate all the time and could make a song about a girl sound like fukkin’ rocket science, or they’re so simplified they couldn’t utilize clever wordplay if they tried… Jay (85% of the time) is able to do both effectively.

Comment by DANJ! 09.22.09 @

U NOTICED THE MORE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT HOW THEY HATE A CERTAIN ARTIST SO MUCH, YET THEY KNOW THERE WHOLE CATALOGUE OF MUSIC.. JAYZ HAS MADE HIS MARK IN THIS GAME AND WILL CONTINUE TO UNTIL HE OFFICIALY RETIRES, SO ANYONE GOT A PROBLEM WITH LISTENING TO HIS MUSIC JUST CHANGE THE FKING DIAL. ITS AS SIMPLE AS THAT. “SENSITIVE THUGS YALL ALL NEED HUGS” – ‘HEART OF THE CITY’ (AINT NO LOVE)

Comment by DJ TIGER 09.23.09 @

man you on point with this one. i was never really a huge jay z fan. although i have most of his albums ( the firs tone being reasonable doubt, with i found in the middle of the road up in white plans) i think i just bought it cause if how he packages things. the cut you mentioned are realy the cuts that stand out. cept for 99 problems, you right it is a white boy track. jay is smart like that. haha

Comment by the great zeee 09.23.09 @

‘99 Problems’ (aka every white kid’s favorite Jay-Z record)

Uhh no.

Comment by RF 09.26.09 @

Oh, cats weren’t feeling Drug Wars, Reppin’ Uptown, C.O.C. Mase? My bad.

Point is, cats who didn’t know him before the Bad Boy era have one perception of him, as some candy-ass bubble gum MC. Dudes who were a little older told those kids to do the knowledge and dig up ill ass Mase shit. And, lo and behold, he’s fucking nice. As is evidenced here, even a lot of real hip hop heads allow that ahiny suit shit to define Mase as a rapper.

That’s the purpose of the analogy. If you want to define Jay-Z’s music by Hard Knock Life, or Big Pimpin’ that fine for you. I guess. I define his music by In My Lifetime and Pre-Game. And as long as you define him by his wack shit, that’s what will be remembered.

In what other form of art are you expected to think every thing that a single artist has done is the pinnacle of the genre before giving him props?

Comment by digglahhh 09.27.09 @

^even when he was COC he was corny 4 me,never liked his flow or his lyrics..it was like he belonged in special ed classes,no disrespect

Comment by dj blendz 09.27.09 @

I agree with this article, I never really got Jay. But I think his hype machine has worked wonders at making non rap fans (I’ll avoid saying white), be afraid of not rating or being down with him from day one. Enough programs were made that told you how he used to sling crack and had it tough, to brainwash the audiences into not wanting to make a ‘rap faux pas’, by not being down with him. So they put him up there on a pedal stool as some amazing pioneer. Which if you don’t count his hideous clothing line, he wasn’t.

Comment by farns 09.28.09 @

Jay wasn’t doing all the NY drug stuff as well as some of the other rappers at the time anyway. I think Smoothe Da Hustler and Trigger Tha Gambler did it much better.

Comment by farns 09.28.09 @

That’s fair, blendz.

I’m not offended. I do happen to think that Murder Mase could really spit. You don’t have to share my opinion, but surely I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.

Comment by digglahhh 09.28.09 @

To me Jay is way overrated, he just ryhmes about material things and how great he think he is.I don’t think that Mr without a pen, can ever make a song that knocks and has the substance that the true heads thrive on.

Comment by brolly 10.03.09 @

Who gives a fuckin shit.

Comment by BigT 10.06.09 @

The pro-Jay arguments here are more convincing than the “I never listened to him because he was part of the machine” type points.

Here’s a good way to compare: take away all singles from a rapper’s career and then go song for song. Who’s even in the same argument with Jay? Seriously?

People stay mad that their fav rapper didn’t keep climbing the career ladder like Jay did.

Comment by Judge 10.06.09 @

I was born ’91, raised in the 90s…Pac was prolly the first rapper I ever heard…or Biggie..whichever one

I grew up listening to Cash Money No Limit, 3 6 Mafia…and then the most was Jay.

I aint a stan, but I’m extremely familiar with this man’s music and catalogue, and even as a former big time fan, I know for a fact Jay-z isn’t overrated…yall so-called elites are really snobbish..If it wasn’t for Jay, hip hop would lack real success and benefit..Jay is mediocre? sub par? This man has a rewind line in every bar, at least one..Nas is boring..Jay boring? No he keeps you interested, he talks to you in his verses..He almost “makes” you understand what he’s doing..something most rapper fail to do..I’ma underground head, around the lines of Little Brother, Murs, Skyzoo, Buckshot…far better lyricst than Hov…but what they lack is motivation, powerful delivery, and interesting concepts…Jay has the cinderella story of hip hop..rags to riches..aint it? Reasonable Doubt aint a classic? woooow…Hov’s lyrics on that disc are phenomenal and his flow was flawless…you niggas is what the ignant folks call “haters”…I hate hate hip hop elitist

long story short, Jay aint what he use to be, but I wouldn’t expect him to be..he’s changed the most than any rapper in history who lasted THIS long..he has money, he has international fame..what time does he have to adjust to all this to still maintain his old shit? Fuck what stans say, they’re stans, thats the point lol..

but think about this…what rapper has predicted their future?

Only Jay

SEE lyrics for “U Don’t Know”

Comment by Shark Attack 10.07.09 @

Jay -Z started telling everyone he was a star and the king from his first album. He kinda of said it so many times that we just believed it. I am a Jay-Z fan. I really didn`t pick up on him till his second album…coped Hard knock life…got back on board for the Blueprint and on.

When I listen to his albums I hear mainly really good tracks or really shitty…there doesnt seem to be an in between…I recently made a mix for my Ipod of my favs and I came up with almost a 100 songs..that has to say somthing about the guy.

And who else can you name in hip hop that has made 5 or 6 great songs for 11 albums straight

Nas is the same…when hes on hes on..when hes off..its painfull..nothing wacker than a Nas pop song…

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 10.28.09 @

“DO YOU FOOLS LISTEN TO MUSIC OR DO U JUST SKEEM THRU IT”

Jay-z Reasonable Doubt 1st debut classic 1st Album 4 Mics he could of got 5 but niggas lack Forward Sight but I don’t give a fuck he aint do it for the Hipe he did it for the Hustlers for the struggle for does who bubble white.. “I’m feeling it n brooklyns finest” alone should hav u feeling that album..

“Man lie Woman lie Numbers don’t”..

Tell any old artist that been in the game for more than 10years to drop n album n u tell me if he gon sale more than H.O.V.A… NONE if u ask me cause Jay-z is your Favorite rappers Favorite Rapper..

“Like short sleeves I Bare Arms”… “if u niggas did it I done it before had it got mad at it n i don’t want it nomore”

I been quotin his lines this whole time now tell me he aint HoTT..

Comment by angel santana 12.03.09 @

i disagree about Reasonable Doubt. that was an authentic, heartfelt album, not manufactured. and this dude has at least a dozen classics–brooklyn’s finest, that other collabo with Biggie, takeover, streets is watching, and that’s just scratching the surface. he’s over now–technique is hot but content is boring but he’s in the Hall of Fame.

Comment by Moi 01.10.10 @

Robbie, why do you always have a hard on to fuck with Nas? You seem to always take shots @ the brother, even beyond his art.

Comment by Marc Davis 01.10.10 @

^
Wrong thread…this thread is about Jay Z..not Nas.

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 01.10.10 @



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