The Jay-Z Debate

A couple of weeks ago, I sort of got into it with a cat that said Jay-Z couldn’t rap. Obviously, I was rendered dumbfounded upon hearing such a ridiculous statement. But then he went on to say that Jay stole too much from Biggie, and was just a much better version of Puff. He then went on further to say that Jay couldn’t be compared to great rappers, and that Pac, Nas, and Eminem were EASILY better than him. I thought to myself, “This guy should not have access to silverware.” But then I wondered if there were more people that thought like him. Does Jigga really suck? Does Pac, Biggie, Nas, and Em get him that easily? So I figured I’d pose the question to you. How sayeth the congregation? Sorry Chica, yes this is another hip hop debate, but don’t leave, k? lol. Holla

“I don’t get into that, I kicked the habit.” Ah, a nice little two-for-one. I remember the first time I heard this on the radio, I was heading to a mall in Philly. My first thought was, “Wow! Biggie was really wilin’ back in the day, huh?” Profane, obscene, sexist, and funny as Hell. When you throw in the controlled lunacy of Mr. Mathers, you’re looking at a classic joint. Too bad Biggie got shot, and Em got fat.

“Wipe the sweat off my dome, spit the phlegm on the street.” The first verse is probably my favorite Nas verse of all time. I could recite that bad boy in my sleep…OK maybe not a deep sleep, but definitely while I’m nodding off. Also, the video gets respect because it was shot in B&W. It’s nice visual flourish that should be employed more often. Good job Mr. Jones.

“So I could see a part of me that wasn’t always shady.” Unfortunately he never got the chance to sire an heir, but he left a legacy of good music. Consequently, I think “Me Against The World” is his best effort. I thought he finally put it all together and delivered a complete album. “It Ain’t Easy,” “Old School,” “Death Around The Corner,” “Outlawz;” the album is clean all the way through. I don’t know that I can say that about his other releases. Of course the fact that he was in the Pen when the album came out, added to the mystique. Nevertheless, I can bump this right now with no reservations.

“Got a lot of beef, so logicallyI pray on my foes.” This dude is so wack, I’m not even gonna waste good snark on him :)

And now…for something slightly unknown but damn funky…

I’ll readily admit that I didn’t know Yvonne Fair had ever existed, until about five minutes ago. I’ll also admit that ignorance is NOT bliss. If you like Betty Davis, I think you’ll like Ms. Fair. She was definitely branded by the funk. Also, I got $5 [not really] for the first person to identify the Jay-Z song that uses a sample from this track. The sample is so subtle, you might miss it.

Diallo Tyson is a filmmaker, comedian and old school music junkie. When he’s not busy, he is a rapper with the group “Two Pimps and a Dream.” Step into a groovin’ time machine every Friday on UTC.

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July 14th, 2008 at 12:07 am Red Razor says:

#1. I’m ’bout to watch all these!

July 14th, 2008 at 12:28 am Red Razor says:

Everybody is so in their prime. Little did we know we was living the good ol days.

July 14th, 2008 at 1:25 am SweetSis says:

Wait. Are you saying Jigga is wack on HKL? I’m speechless. This must be a typo. Up top you say he’s dope then you diss. Help your girl understand young man. Cause this is one of his most reedunkyoulous tracks!!!!

July 14th, 2008 at 4:44 am Binta Rohan says:

I’ve nevr heard on Ms. Fair either but that voice is a-amazing rough and unusual. I’m going to look her up tomorrow.

July 14th, 2008 at 5:39 am Diallo Tyson says:


Nah, I was just being sarcastic. Just playing on the fact that saying he can’t rap is a ridiculous statement:)

July 14th, 2008 at 5:51 am CeaseNYC says:

Wut up man. Even after two spins had to whip out Google on Yvonne Fair. I admit it, Ya got me.
Dead Wrong I ain’t heard in a minute. Still one of the hardest beats ever in my opin.

July 14th, 2008 at 7:16 am Diallo Tyson says:

Cease! I thought you of all people would get it:) I told ya’ll, it’s very subtle.

July 14th, 2008 at 7:28 am Smooth says:

Jigga IS wack and it’s obvious you don’t know anything about rap. Stop smoking that sticky icky and post some real emcees like Pimp Tric Gangsta Clique

July 14th, 2008 at 7:47 am Diallo Tyson says:

A guy who lets his kid’s afro grow to three feet in diameter, in 2008, shan’t attempt to call me out. You can disperse now. I try to keep this blog sucka free.

July 14th, 2008 at 9:09 am lolalove says:

these are some dope selctions I really wasn’t up on yvonne she’s cool the game changed for everyone when the greats died and jay borrowed a lot of lines like straight from both of em but i think he is good tho

July 14th, 2008 at 11:04 am Mizzo says:

Sup Fam!

I do think Hov benefited from the deaths of Pac and Biggie…Dead Presidents takes on a little more meaning…

That being said, So Many Tears is my favorite track of all time-in any genre.

July 14th, 2008 at 11:42 am superjonsey1 says:

WHAT!!!?? You can not take anything from Jay. Did dude ever see him perform live before? The other greats you mentioned are respectfully some of the best in hip hop but so is Jay.

July 14th, 2008 at 12:56 pm thelma says:

I’m sorry - but the all eyez on me album the double one was one of his best to me - and makaveli is a classic

July 14th, 2008 at 12:59 pm teradise says:

Jay Z is doper that people give him credit for…he doesn’t have the sickest flow on the planet, but his lyrics are sick! Hit, after hit and those that weren’t hits are even doper! I must say that Pac is so over rated!!!! Biggie was a doper emcee by far. Nas is just aight to me.

July 14th, 2008 at 1:03 pm heatmizer says:

Thanks for always introdyucing new stuff!

July 14th, 2008 at 4:50 pm Tina says:

Jay is the man!

July 14th, 2008 at 6:31 pm Kettle Blk says:


July 14th, 2008 at 6:34 pm Diallo Tyson says:

My name is Just Ice
a man not a pranksta
I’m a strong as a gangsta
but believe me that is no fun
the time is now to unite everyone
You don’t have to be soft to be for peace
Robbing and shooting and murdering is the least
You don’t have to be chained by the beast
But party people it’s time I released

Yeah I heard of him:)

July 14th, 2008 at 7:19 pm Kettle Blk says:

LOL — you are the mixmasta!

July 14th, 2008 at 7:24 pm Diallo Tyson says:

Kettle, that’s what I keep trying to tell folks, but they ain’t listening:)
So Many Tears is a triumph on so many levels.
I think Jay is definitely a “1st ballot HOF’er.” I just don’t see how anyone can argue otherwise.
Your welcome. I try to bring a little bit of education to the preceedings:)

July 14th, 2008 at 7:43 pm Kenneth Boston says:

Born alone die alone no crew to keep my crown or throne
I’m deep by sound alone caved inside in a thousand miles from home
I need a new nigga for this black cloud to follow
Cause while it’s over me it’s too dark to see tomorrow

July 14th, 2008 at 8:12 pm Cheetah says:


July 14th, 2008 at 9:31 pm Destah Owens says:

Let me put it like this. If we put Biggie up in the rarefied air of MJ (yeah, him again) or Magic or Kareem, then we give Mr. Mathers some Larry Bird votes. Sure he’s a slow white guy but I dare any brotha to say he can’t play. Nas is like..Nas, Nas, Nas is like…Clyde Drexler or Bernard King. Suuuuuuuper nice, but if you ain’t a Blazers or Knicks fan, you ain’t really checkin’ for him on highlights every night. That would put Jay-Z on Dominique Wilkins status. Sure he’s got some flaws in his game, but he’s the human highlight reel. He can bring the heat every night and is always worth the price of admission. I’m not a big Pac fan either (don’t tell my neighbors here in The Town) but he was kinda nice. All Eyes on Me was always a favorite. But Karl Malone and Charles Barkley weren’t really my favoritets either, but they could flat out play.

I have NO idea on the sample, Diallo. I’m rather disappointed in myself. I know i’m going to kick myself, but please..the suspense is killin’ me. I

July 14th, 2008 at 10:35 pm chica22 says:

@ Diallo - I needed that Nas right about now, Thanks.
@ Destah - Great comparisons, and the mention of All Eyez on Me has me reaching for my IPod. I love the horns on that track.

July 15th, 2008 at 1:19 am kamalp says:

BIG’s verse on Dead Wrong is heat!!!!!

July 15th, 2008 at 1:20 am SeeG says:

its that break at 3:26
and its in the “where im from” track off of vol.I

July 15th, 2008 at 3:15 am Mizzo says:

Cough Up A Lung Where I’m From? Marcy Son..Ain’t nothin’ nice!

Come on D. Ya gotta come harder than that?

July 15th, 2008 at 5:50 am Diallo Tyson says:

SeeG you are the winner of…a pat on the back.
Are you challenging me like the Eagles secondary challenging a helmet-less Jason Witten? You know how this is gonna end.
You’re from the Yay, and NOT a big Pac fan? Blaspheme! lol
De nada

July 15th, 2008 at 9:30 am Sugsworth says:

“Who you know fresher than Hov’? Riddle me that
The rest of y’all know where I’m lyrically at
Can’t none of y’all mirror me back
Yeah hearin me rap is like hearin G. Rap in his prime
I’m, young H.O., rap’s Grateful Dead
Back to take over the globe, now break bread
I’m in, Boeing jets, Global Express
Out the country but the blueberry still connect
On the low but the yacht got a triple deck
But when you Young, what the fuck you expect? Yep, yep
Grand openin, grand closin
God your man Hov’ cracked the can open again
Who you gon’ find doper than him with no pen
just draw off inspiration
Soon you gon’ see you can’t replace him
with cheap imitations for DESE GENERATIONS”

or something like that… Jay is the best ever. right now he is the most underrated rapper in the game for what reason i do not know. he had the best verse on lil wayne’s last album. he speaks a language only people who LISTEN to hip hop understand. he talks about himself in a super extravagant rags to riches story (if u pay attention you will get it). everytime he drops a new verse, he takes you a step further in his life as a rap artist never forgetting where he started from.
he is the most succesful rapper to get signed in the time that he did (when there were no multi million dollar rap deals). and now how much does he have?

July 15th, 2008 at 10:12 am Elsa Harkins says:

Nas can do no wrong in my book. Thanx for the clip, Diallo.

July 15th, 2008 at 11:34 am Ace Corleone says:

Thats that Where I’m from off In My Lifetime Vol 1…… Jay-Z is the best. Point blank!!!

July 15th, 2008 at 2:33 pm Tawnie says:

Damn Sugsworth, those lyrics felt good to read.

On Dead Wrong, I always loved the beat but that line about Mary makes me cringe too much to even listen to it. I’d bump the instrumental though with a quickness.

July 15th, 2008 at 9:16 pm Mo Diva says:


“Tell the truth and shame the devil.” You made this premise up, didn’t you? You’ve got a great discussion going, so congrats. But, come on…

July 15th, 2008 at 9:19 pm Diallo Tyson says:

Mo, I swear to God, Buddha, and Vishnu I didn’t make this up. I got the emails to prove it. There are people in this world that say incredibly ridiculous things:)

July 17th, 2008 at 8:39 pm Special K says:

I am afraid that I have to go with Tupac. Reason being is that he is versatile. He can impart knowledge, his lyrics are intellegent or, they can be understood, and his flow is “Sublime”. There is no other.