21 February 2008
Great songs, Vol. 4: Jay-Z's "The Takeover."
Greatest.Diss.Song.Ever. Know why this diss song is so great? Because Jay-Z isn't that great a rapper. Allright, before I get stones thrown at me, lemme explain. You've got your great flowers, and you've got your great wordsmiths. You've got your great singers, and you've got your great voices. Very fine lines. Anyway, Shawn Carter falls in the "great wordsmiths" categories. He can't ride the beat that well, but what he's saying is so powerful that you don't even bother to get technical when you listen to 'em. Shit, Jimi Hendrix couldn't read a lick of music, according to Miles Davis who said so in a Hendrix biography, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky.
Anyway, so I didn't respect Jay-Z as much as I do now until he dissed Mobb Deep and Nas in The Blueprint's "Takeover." Nas did allright with his semi-entertaining "Ether," but Jay-Z went personal and did the most damage, at least to me. He got down. He took it to the heart. And even though Nas said some shit too, as I mentioned, it doesn't matter, because Jay-Z is still relevant without he and Beyoncé showing up at an award show with the word "Nigger" written on their tees and jackets.
With that being said, listen: