You guys don’t want it with Hov – NOOOOO!

jay-z

Running off to see Dirty Projectors, but wanted to throw this out into the ether before I forgot about. Somehow missed this piece last week on FPBlog that places The Game’s beef with Jay-Z into the context of global power relations and American foreign policy. It’s a detailed and intelligent analysis, even if I think it overestimates Jay’s ability to hold back from responding to those unworthy of his attention (see: Dig a Hole off Kingdom Come. Actually, just ignore Kingdom Come altogether)

Regardless, it’s worth a read. More thoughts on this later.

FP Blog: Jay-Z vs. The Game

FP Blog: Debating Jay-Z’s Hegemony

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14 responses to “You guys don’t want it with Hov – NOOOOO!

  1. I feel as if The Game can only thrive when he is beefing with some other artist. As if its the only way he can truly garner any attention to his work. But then again, I don’t pay much attention to him at the best of times.

    And just to add this note: Beyonce’s I AM… tour > Kanye’s Glow in the Dark tour.

  2. Aw man…really? The cheapest tickets here in the nosebleeds were only 25$ but for some reason I didn’t go – no one to go with, I guess. Or residual shame at my total adoration of her shtick. My loss, I guess.

  3. I listened to Kingdom Come the other day, and I kind of really love the intro track. What a gorgeous beat. Too bad the album drops off drastically after that.

  4. I mean, I (and most people, I feel) overstress the awfulness of Kingdom Come just because of context. There were some v. serviceable tracks on there. ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Lost Ones’ weren’t awful. 30 Something was an interesting IDEA even if the track blew.

    But it was the Return of Hov. And after the Black Album, which was above-average Jay AND a year-long retirement party, the guy who brags “can’t leave rap alone / the game needs me” should…well, produce a fucking tidal wave with his comeback. With a title like Kingdom Come he needed to be Jesus AND Superman AND the donkey they rode in on. He needed something with the combined cultural impact of ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulders’ and ’99 Problems’. KC wasn’t it. Nor was American Gangster, even though that album was good enough for us to pretend like he was back on form.

  5. I mean…even “Run This Town”…I dunno. Need to listen to it for a few days before I write it off. But if he doesn’t have any more “The Ruler’s Back”s in him, I’ll be sad. The Blueprint 3 is going to be an exercise in tempering expectations.

  6. I like “Run This Town” more than “D.O.A.” for the simple fact that Jay sounds more invigorated here, trying out a more twisty, elaborate flow, something he’s abandoned post “Diamonds Remix,” I feel. The thing is, in the past he didn’t need to affect his voice like this (and let’s admit it, his voice is a little strained here) in order to play with a more complicated flow—that’s just how he used to rap, and it was effortless, too.

    I’m not sure how much I like “Run This Town” yet, but it’s an improvement on “D.O.A.” and Kanye drops one of his ’04-styled comedic verses which I love from the guy. The beat feels very post-808s too.

    Also, I think The Black Album just gets better and better as we move farther away from its release. It was probably the last time Jay was rapping his ass off, and doing it over truly memorable beats.

  7. Yeah. I was listening to it this evening, and even Change Clothes, which I recall people abhorring as a pop radio single is something special. I never really got into Threat or Allure, but otherwise it’s golden. THAT felt like an event.

    Do rap albums ever feel like events anymore? Kanye excepted, since Graduation did, I guess.

  8. And ‘strained’ is the perfect word. In terms of meter and rhythm and internal rhyme structures Run This Town is approaching old-school Jay verses, but it feels meticulously constructed, as though you can HEAR the effort he is putting into it. Half of Jay-Z’s oft-mentioned swagger came from how incredibly effortless he made his raps feel.

  9. 808s and Heartbreak, Tha Carter III, and Paper Trail all felt like events for me. I haven’t listened to any of them all the way through. Maybe a lot of things feel like events for me.

  10. I’ll give you Tha Carter III, for sure, even though it was spotty. As much as I love 808s, I don’t necessarily think it was a cultural behemoth the way The Blueprint was. Paper Trail, a slew of pretty good singles aside, barely registered as an album in the public consciousness. King probably came closer to “event”, no?

  11. I honestly learned about King when I was reading end-of-year stuff on Pitchfork. Should I care about Fabolous?

  12. King = T.I. Fabolous is…goofy but inessential, best used as decoration on tracks by Ryan Leslie and The-Dream.

  13. So the TI albums in order:

    – King
    – The Blueprint
    – Paper Trail
    – Fabolous

  14. You’re just purposely fucking with me now.

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