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FACE/OFF
by antman on 8/26/2004 03:09:00 PM

Took the truth out of my mouth


This is a very good read and the truth.(saved me the time of writing)

Critical Minded
Wednesday - August 18, 2004
J-23
I’ve always been very amused by the Jay-Z and Nas rivalry, but I’m not talking about their personal rivalry. I am talking about the one that exists between their fans. Before I go on, let me make a few things clear. I am a huge fan of both emcees, I feel they are both undoubtedly among the all-time greats. While I would call myself a slightly bigger Jay fan, I would trade one of my toes for “Illmatic” (if the situation came about of course), so it really balances out for me.

Moving on. Long before Jay and Nas duked it out on wax, they were pitted against one another. As the two most prominent NY emcees in the late 90’s it was only inevitable that their qualities were scrutinized and compared. There was always one thing that never added up though, and that is the reason so many Nas fans hate Jay-Z. The first thing any pro-Nas, anti-Jay fan will tell you is that Jay is too commercial, too material, too flossy, too braggadocios, too obsessed with his crack sales etc. I will fully admit, as Jay has many times, he is all those things. He has never made apologies for what he is or what he does, and he has never tried to hide who he is or what he is all about. Now, Nas is a different story. He isn’t commercial, he isn’t flossy and he isn’t obsessed with selling his years of selling crack. Don’t be mistaken though, just because Nas isn’t those things in truth, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t continually pretended. Whether or not it was the pressures of his label, Nas has perpetrated many qualities that aren’t genuine, be it his big willy’ism on “Street Dreams” or drug kingpin wannabe on “The Firm.” Over and over Nas has changed his image, contradicting himself and frustrating his fans along the way. So why is it that Jay gets hated for being what he is, but Nas gets loved for perpetrating what he is?

The answer is pretty simple actually, cause Jay is that. Shaun Carter is what so many people would love to be. His life and career are the type of things you see in a movie. The man went from dead broke to the top of the world. He has more money than he will ever need, a record label, a clothing company, his own shoe, the cars, the jewelry, the houses, the girl, an NBA team, the respect, and the skills. You can’t find many people who wouldn’t like those things, it is hard not to envy that. The reality is, a lot of people can’t handle envy and it becomes hate. That is why it is easier to identify with Nas, cause throughout the course of his career he has shown that he wants Jay’s lifestyle as well. It’s like the underdog versus the perennial champion. Jay wins at everything, does he really need to win at something else?

Of course, this whole situation became blatantly obvious when the two began jawing at each other. So many blind fans quickly gave the victory to Nas and “Ether.” It was so overwhelming that even Jay had to admit to a loss at the hands of the majority. At this point, I am still wondering whether people listened to the same songs as I did. “The Takeover” (one verse mind you), was nothing but hurtful insults that were true. The publishing rights, the inconsistencies of Nas’ career, only witnessing the street life, etc. But Nas did little more than throw insults with no merit. Gay-Z? Cock-A-Fella? Did anyone not realize that those are names an 8 year old would come up with? It isn’t like Jay has ever been accused of being gay or something, then he might have been onto something. But it goes on, saying Beanie Sigel is better (which even Beanie knows isn’t close to being true), and claiming Rockefeller died of AIDS (despite the fact that he died some 40 years before AIDS was created). Sure “Ether” sounded great and Nas was rejuvenated for the first time in years, but he really had limited ammunition against Jigga. The truth is, most people had their minds made up before his response ever came. To top it all off, Jay fucked Nas’ baby’s momma. See? He just doesn’t lose.

I already know I am gonna get accused of being a Nas hater and a Jay-Z dickrider for all this. But if you really believe that after that unbiased, objective piece then you are the person I am talking about. “If the shoe fits, then shut the fuck up and walk it off.” All I am saying is that if you love Nas and hate Jay, check your reasons why and quite spouting that same old tired bullshit that has no merit whatsoever. Hating is bad for your health. Personally, I think it is much easier to take another’s success as a source of inspiration rather than frustration, but hey, that is just me.

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