And who said Jay wasn't the best again?
I sat here at my computer for about a few hours pondering if I should write this blog eloquently, or if I should just keep it trill.
Then I asked myself, what would Hova do?
I honestly wanted to write a blog that reads: "Jay-Z is the best. The End."
But I knew that wouldn't sit well with the millions of hip-hop heads riding for their respective "favorite" rappers.
So, I figured I'd keep my curses in cursive and present my thoughts about Jay-Z to the world as a mixture of both.
Since his arrival in 1996 with Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z has mastered the music business by being more than an artist.
Jay's been the artist, the CEO, the president, the entrepreneur, and not to mention, he's the thoroughest Hollywood husband; basically the prototype for every rapper in the game.
But through all of his business ventures, Jay always makes it back to the booth to remind us why we fell in love with him back in '96.
Jay-Z's had more number one albums than the "King of Rock And Roll," Elvis Presley, and rubs shoulders with the world's most influential tastemakers in his free time.
Let's not forget to mention; he's married to one of the most influential R&B divas in the game, Beyonce, and together they have the perfect family.
I know you're starting to think this is a boast fest, but it's deeper than that.
From hustling on the block in Marcy, to hustling billionaires like Warren Buffett, Jay-Z has managed to stay relevant for the past 16 years and it didn't happen by chance.
Unlike his hip-hop counterparts, Jay-Z hasn't been afraid to mature and grow with his fans.
Jigga man has navigated through the music game with his sensible delivery, charisma, witty rhymes, and versatility, better than any Spanish conquistador in search of the Americas.
But out of all the characteristics we admire most about Jay, it's his truth that reigns supreme.
Truth comes few and far between in the rap game, but Jay has always kept it 100.
Jay's made songs cry and he's brought listeners front and center to the grittiest project hallways, but Jay's verse on Rick Ross' "3Kings" reminded everyone that despite being 42 years old and classified as a "hip-hop old head," these young cats ain't got nothing on Jigga - still.
With bars like:
- "Oh, stuntin' to the max, I'm so wavy
- Used to shop at TJ Maxx back in '83
- I don't even know if it was open then
- I ain't know Oprah then
- Have the XL 80 bike
- Loud motor, they be like, "Damn!" when I'm comin' through, rrraaanngg
- Had the grill in '88, y'all niggas is late
- You got all that, right?
- I love this shit like my own daughter
- Let's spray these niggas, baby, just like daddy taught ya
- Young, this is just different"
Jay once got reamed for getting killed on his own track by Eminem, but Jay redeemed himself by slaying Rick and Dre on "3Kings" quite effortlessly.
Who do you know that does it better than Hov?
As I'm scrolling through my rapper rolodex, I can't think of any rapper that can compete with Jay-Z for the throne of being "The Best Rapper Alive."
I know many of you are jumping at the chance to yell "Nas!"
But even with Nas dropping the amazing body of work entitled, Life Is Good, I'm sticking by my declaration.
I love Nas. I think he's ONE of the best emcees of all time, but he's not THE king.
You have to think about it from a category standpoint.
We can play the numbers game or debate likeability, we can also go round-by-round for lyricism, but Nas said it himself, "Hip-hop has to thank God For Jay-Z."
And then we all remember when Lil Wayne once claimed to be the best, but as we know, he lost his thunder to a skate park.
No rapper has exhibited more fervor, more determination, and no rapper has mastered the abstraction of music as an art form and a business more than Shawn Carter.
I'll say it again like I said it once before, Jay-Z is the king, no one needs to say no more.
Brittany Lewis is the Music Editor at GlobalGrind and a Howard University Alumna. Brittany considers herself seasoned on all the pop culture ish that matters. Follow her on Twitter @Buttercup_B.