By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
"If I release 'Song Cry,' I get 500 spins. If I put out 'Big Pimpin',' it's number one for thirteen weeks [on New York's Hot 97]," he says. Obviously, "Big Pimpin'" is a great pop song, while "Song Cry" is a mediocre love ballad. These are distinctions that Jay-Z doesn't make -- or at least pretends not to understand. For him, each record is a gift for the public to consume, a means for him to make money as an entertainer. But it doesn't matter whether we like The Black Albumor not. Jay-Z will still believe that he is the consummate rapper, with more hit records than the late Notorious B.I.G., more lyrical diversity than Tupac and more musical consistency than Nas.
Such a conceit smacks of arrogance, but who can blame him? After all, Jay-Z is the artist, and we are the audience. Our acceptance or rejection of him doesn't change that. "I don't know," he finally says with a shrug in response to the journalist's question. "I haven't figured out the world."
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city