Like, really good friends. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a rivalry between the two. And we saw another example of said rivalry earlier today.
This morning, Kanye West announced his Yeezus tour, which will feature fellow rap superstar Kendrick Lamar. Not even a half hour later, Jay Z announced the US dates for his upcoming tour, in support of his Magna Carta…Holy Grail album, which dropped in July.
If you think that this was a coincidence, you haven’t been paying attention, folks. These two do things like this all the time.
Scroll down to see a brief history of Jay Z and Kanye West trying to outshine each other.
Jay Z bodies Kanye West on his own ish
The first single from Kanye West’s Late Registration album was “Diamonds From Sierra Leon.” And that song kinda bricked, despite the nifty video. The single only made it to 43 on the Billboard hot 100 charts. The only thing that saved Late Registration from certain failure was “Gold Digger” which was huge. Oh, and there was also the “Diamonds From Sierra Leon (Remix)” that featured a recently retired Jay Z coming back from the dead and spitting one of the verses of the year. (Jay would also black on Young Jeezy’s “Go Crazy (Remix)” that year.)
Jay Z does a song with Chris Martin after Kanye West does a song with Chris Martin
Jay Z and Kanye West both have songs with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Jay’s song with Chris, “Beach Chair,” came first, dropping on Hov’s Kingdom Come album in 2006, while Kanye’s collabo, “Homecoming,” was on Graduation, which dropped in 2007.
It’s easy to understand why you would think Jay recorded his song first, but this isn’t true. According to Kanye’s “Big Brother: “I told Jay I did a song with Coldplay, next thing I know he got a song with Coldplay.”
Jay Z kills autotune, after Kanye West drops 808 and Heartbreaks, an album full of autotone
Seven months after Kanye West released an emotional album full of autotune singing, Jay Z released “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune),” a song blasting the use of the vocal method . The funny thing is both Jay and Kanye try to downplay any kind of tension: In the song’s second verse Jay name checks Kanye, and he even has his voice appear on the record.
Kanye West closes out Coachella a year after Jay does it
In 2010, Jay Z made history by becoming the first rapper to close Coachella. So who was the closer next year? Kanye West, of course. Who had the better set? It’s hard to say. Jay had the guest appearances (he brought out Beyonce!) while Kanye was more of the showman. (His set had ballerinas!)
Kanye comes at JT’s neck
In 2011, you didn’t see a pic of Jay without seeing Kanye West right next to him. In 2013 Kanye was replaced by Justin Timberlake. Jay Z appeared on JT’s smash “Suit and Tie,” a song they performed a number of times throughout the year. We’re pretty sure Kanye was feeling some kind of way, because he blasted JT a number of times on stage earlier this year, saying: “I got love for Hov, but I ain’t fucking with that ‘Suit & Tie,”"I got love for Hov, but I ain’t fucking with that ‘Suit & Tie.”
Jay Z drops “Open Letter,” then Kanye releases a new Pusha song
On April 11, 2013, the only thing the Internet was talking about was Jay Z’s just-released “Open Letter.” Kanye tried to put a stop to that. In the middle of that day, Kanye West sent out a Tweet about him and Pusha bringing hip-hop back. Then, sometime later, they released “Numbers by the Board,” which got a good amount of attention, just not that Jay Z kinda love.
Jay announces new album right around the time Kanye releases his Yeezus album
Kanye West tried so hard, man. (Like, he had a worldwide premiere of his “New Slaves” single.) And then, boom, on the week his album is set to drop, Jay announces his new album, overshadowing the release of Yeezus.
Kanye West tweets about movies the day Jay’s album drops
On July 4th, when Jay’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail album hit the Net, Kanye West also joined in on the Twitter fun. He didn’t tweet about the album, however, He tweeted about a movie, Pacific Rim, which was super random for two reasons: One, he never tweets about movies, and two, that movie kinda stunk.