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A Message from Jay Z

This article is a reprinting of a feature of Jay Z as one of the top artists of the last ten years, originally posted on betterpropaganda.com. SFCritic liked the style, and thought I'd highlight/share it with you. Enjoy:

Nobody knows Jay Z better than Jay Z. So why should I try explaining his legacy, skills, impact, and story—when he can? This piece is a montage of Jay Z’s lyrics throughout all his albums. With a little narration, I’ll let him explain why we should consider him one of top 100 artists of the last 10 years.

Jay Z, you’ve sold millions of hip hop records. From hustlin’ streets to MTV Unplugged, how would you describe your impact in hip hop?

(Jay Z)
I'm, young H.O., rap's Grateful Dead
I keep it realer than most, I know you’re feelin it
I can't see 'em comin down my eyes
So I gotta make the song cry

(D) Your music is pretty well known—no?

(J) Then run and tell them ducks you heard Hovi new shit
He and the boy Phar-real make beautiful music
He is to the East coast what Snoop is
To the West, what 'Face is to Houston

(D) What about your lyrical content? Every rapper raps about the hood. Every rapper seems to talk about sex, drugs and booty, what makes you a top artist?

(J) Radio's gotta play me though I cuss too much
Magazine said I'm shallow, I never learned to swim
Just read a magazine that fucked up my day
How you rate music that thugs with nothin relate to it?
I help them see they way through it - not you
Can't step in my pants, can't walk in my shoes
Bet everything you worth; you lose your tie and your shirt
Can't deny me, why would you want to
You need me, why don't you try me

(D) So I can’t critique you because I haven’t walked a day in your shoes. So if you’re content is not much different than other, what can critics point to say, “this is one of the greatest hip hop artists?”

(J) I stretched the game out, X'ed your name out
I’m a business man, not a business man
Demandin y'all respect, hand over a check
And while y'all at it, hand over the jet
We the reason they ain't hand over Def Jam so quick
They knew every year I was droppin new product
I was raisin the stock up, while buildin the Roc up
I'm a hustler homey, you a customer crony

(D) So where does that leave you Jay? In the greats of hip hop, where do you stand with your comeback?

(J) Can't call this a comeback, I run rap, the fuck is y'all sayin?
Five million I done that, and I come back, to do it again (uh-huh)
Ex-sinner, Grammy award winner
I came, I saw and I conquered, from record sales to sold out concerts
Maybe you'll love me when I fade to black
If you can't respect that, your whole perspective is whack

(D) You heard the man, if you can't respect that, your whole perspective is whack!

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