But back to the topic at hand, why is this new particular set of lyrical shots so important? Because when it comes to the Hip-Hop game, both Drizzy and Hova actually matter.
Jay Z has arguably been the Alpha rapper in the game for over a decade. Sorry Lil Wayne fans, but the audacity of Weezy’s “Greatest Rapper Alive” campaign was given country because of Jay Z’s stature as much as it was “Mixtape Weezy’s” bars. Do remember that Hov shouted Wayne out on “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tone)” for that very reason.
Raising bars is what Drake & Jay Z (and a short list of others such as Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, for example) tend to do, so a spirit of competition (word to the Clipse) between them is a natural byproduct. In any sport, you claim the mountaintop by knocking off who’s there, and despite Jay-Z’s elder statesman status in an (allegedly) young man’s game, try as they might, no neophytes have been able to do so. [Note: For all you underground purists, we’re only considering mainstream viability here.]
So here comes Jay-Z dropping some incendiary lines on a track he knew damn well everyone would be paying particularly close attention to. The fact that it’s a Jay Electronica tune is just a testament to the BK empresario’s chess game precision. Placing a standout verse on a track from a guy who, thanks to his sparse at best recording catalog, on your own Roc Nation label no less, works out especially conveniently.
It also means more of the usual “When is Jay Elec going to drop his album?” chatter. We wouldn’t bank on said album’s release, or Jay Z forfeiting his place at the apex, anytime soon though.
Drake got called out by name (which isn’t new, ask Common) basically over his own song, and considering this is Jay Z, you’re damn right he needs to respond. And not with a veiled diss like he allegedly sent Kendrick Lamar (in retaliation to “Control”) via his verse on Future’s “Sh*t (Remix).”
We just hope Drake responds in kind with some slick bars, not a melodious side eye. If the Canadian goes at King Hov over the line, who do you think will king of the rap mountain when all is said and done?