Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jay Z Featuring Eminem: Revisiting 'Renegades' 8 Years Later

This post could have been titled 'Reasons #4 and #68 Why TWNR' (I'll let you decide which is which), but it's really an exploration of the only track that featured another MC on Jay's classic, genre-realigning 2001 LP The Blueprint.

At the time, as most of you will know, Jay Z was embroiled in one of the classic rap battles (and maybe the last one that anybody cared about) with equal NYC Icon Nas. I don't wanna get into that, but I'll focus on one of Nas' lines:

"Eminem murdered you on your own $hit."

At the time, I wholeheartedly agreed. I mean, there just didn't seem to be any valid argument to the contrary. Em was doing his rapid fire multi-syllable -rhyming thing, and staying fiercely on topic.

I read an interview with Em a few years later where someone put Nas' line to him, and he responded by saying that he disagreed. Jay was doing a lot of subtle in-and-out type stuff, he argued, that was not immediately impacting but nonetheless just as skillful. So he thought it was a tie.

At times, I agree with that conclusion. Then again, other times I don't.

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