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Jess Rich

Cleverly broken down n with much insight...i agree with the synopsis


The reason hip hop as an art form has stagnated for now close to fifteen years is that people make elaborate excuses for someone like Jay-Z not forwarding the medium. His status as "the greatest" and "Hova" makes him like a hip hop L Ron Hubbard. Its all self-proclaimed, and he's been around proclaimingit repeatedly for long enough that he's got everyone assuming its true. He seems like the only rap artist who's wanted to force the reality of these boasts. Why is he the greatest? If he's judged against his peers of "greatests" in hip-hop history, aesthetically and discography-wise, he almost always comes off bad. He's the All-Image King. Most of his writing is average at best, but he's now releasing books annotating his rhymes. You know what other lyricist has done this? I can't think of one and I'm not sure I'd have looked to Jay to start.

You wrote:
Blacks acquiring wealth is still a revolutionary and powerful gesture and I’m unmoved by arguments that “Jay’s just talking about being rich.”

This is ascribing more importance to a cultural observation than the furthuring of the art. You may be unmoved, but you're also projecting a "revolutionary" (definitely not buying that) intent on someone who, to me, appears simply to be fetishizing wealth and material excess. It may have cultural import on the one hand, but it is also flatly repugnant on the other, especially, I've always found, in his hands as a writer, but that may just be me. In other words: no shit that's *why* they're talking about being rich. The problem is that they're STILL TALKING ABOUT BEING RICH. I'd argue the idea shouldn't be to stubbornly slam your head against the wall trying to improve on the subtle art of the "brag," its to introduce a new level of tropes, thoughts, concepts to the genre. Jay rarely, if ever does this. Still referencing Scarface, drugs, money. Yawn. That he does it in increasingly elaborate fashion just doesn't interest me. His poet's touch is debatable.

Kanye doesn't have his flow, and while his floor as a writer is lower, his ceiling is much higher. The "couture level flow" was the best line of the song.

Either way, this was awesome, really well done. Loved what you put together. It does make me think though that, despite the fancy packaging, the hype-beyond-hype, the deluxe editions and all those other things these two guys are great at, its a pretty box stuffed with... brags over great Kanye beats.


All I can say is "thank you".

Briana Myricks

It was even better reading the explanation and playing the song (pausing after every line). Thanks Toure!


isn't the "proof..." line an answer to "i invented swag"???

Cyra E.

Wow...can we get this for the whole album please??

jenna pearle

i would give a point to the mana "nah" line by kanye?; to me, it's like saying an old school "sike." great analysis!

Tealeda Nesbitt

I"m such a nerd and a hip hop fan! I love this!!!


This analysis is on point. Watch the throne just shows how closely knit the artists and the genre react to one another, and how much public opinion actually influences the music. I love hip hop for that.

A little rebuttal here: http://ennuics.com/?p=2087


If you need this song explained then god help you.

Toure, you're a great writer with a good grasp of the english language. I'm perplexed that you thought there was enough depth in these 'brag-rap' metaphors that they needed annotation. If this song is seen as something worth celebrating, then that art of HipHop lyricism, some of us so dearly love, must have died while we were busy deciphering soul on ice, illmatic, aquemini, stress: the extension agenda, resurrection, funcrusher plus to name but very very few.

I think this brother also offers a counter view to the greater social context of this song:


Brilliant analysis!

Jay Davis

Well done! I am happy to see i am not the only one who can see deeper meanings in their lyrics. When Jay spoke of "getting money up under you" I thought of the movie "There Will Be Blood" where even though he did not own the land, he had rights to drill under the land.


nice!! you made the song better for me

Didn't Get Punked in School

This may be the worst piece of writing I have ever seen.may God have mercy on our souls.



Some Guy

"You know, at NBC, in the hallways, we were laughing at you today," Touré told Morgan. "We wouldn't take [Robert Zimmerman]. Standards and Practices at NBC wouldn't let him get through door. And you had him on the air and allowed the hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands or whatever number of people watch your show listen to what he had to say. And you aren't challenging him the way that you needed you to, the way that we needed you to, the way that other, more responsible journalists are doing."

Obviously Standards and Practices at NBC has no problem with the selective editing of a 911 tape. NBC brings you great professionalism from more responsible journalists.... Right, got it.

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