20 years after its release, Killer Mike feels that Jay Z‘s work on his debut album Reasonable Doubt deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as William Shakespeare and Zora Neal Hurston.
When Killer Mike visited HipHopWired.com’s studios recently, he took a couple of minutes to wax poetic on Jay Z’s first classic album, Reasonable Doubt.
“Jay Z’s first album is an incredible testament to the will it takes for someone to artistically, put what it’s like to escape the streets,” says Mike.
He went on to compare the album to Black cinema treasure Super Fly, saying that it was written beautifully and poetically.
“Jay gave you Shakespearean level art, talking the crack era and the drug game and escaping it,” says Mike. “With records like “D’Evils,” you can’t deny that this is Shakespearean worth. You can call out [Robert] Frost, [Ernest] Hemmingway, [Mark] Twain, Zora Neal Hurston. You’re talking about art on that level or you’re bullsh*tting. So for me, him, the Clipse, Goodie Mob, people like [Ice] Cube, Scarface, Nas. All of those [artists first albums], along with Jay’s, poetically present a struggle and a pain and a street culture and the crack era to you in a way that is equivalent to the best writers this sphere has ever seen. I hold Jay in the highest regard, for that.”
Killer Mike has worked with Jay Z twice. He rapped alongside Big Boi and Twista on Jay’s “Poppin’ Tags” from The Blueprint 2 album. They rapped on the same track again when both of them appeared on Outkast’s “Flip Flop Rock” from Big Boi’s half of the Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album. Killer Mike also made his rap game debut on Outkast’s “Funkanella” which appeared on the soundtrack to Roc-A-Fella’s Backstage documentary.