In his new album, rapper Jay-Z expresses skepticism about some of his colleagues’ claims of extraordinary wealth, saying, “The truth in my verses, versus, your metaphors about what your net worth is.” So are your favorite rappers lying about how rich they are? Bloomberg Businessweek straightens out the confusion with a great graphic comparing alleged vs. actual wealth. Here’s a preview: Nicki Minaj is not “mak[ing] a billi like a big goat.” (HT: The Big Picture)
Every once in a while, there is a mash-up that combines a pop-type song with a hip-hop add-on. I’m not talking about songs like the odd new B.O.B./Taylor Swift duet, but rather, songs that exist on their own, and then get a hip-hop upgrade.
I’m sure there are many examples, but there are only two that I can think of off the top of my head.
The first is “Numb/Encore“, in which a popular Linkin Park song (“Numb”) gets Jay-Z lyrics laid over it. Here are they lyrics from the original Linkin Park song “Numb”:
I’m tired of being what you want me to be Feeling so faithless lost under the surface Don’t know what you’re expecting of me Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes (Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow) Every step that I take is another mistake to you (Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow) And every second I waste is more than I can take
I’ve become so numb I can’t feel you there I’ve become so tired so much more aware I’m becoming this all I want to do Is be more like me and be less like you
Compare the adolescent angst of those lyrics with the words that Jay-Z lays over it such as:
Do you have trouble making sense of U.S./Iranian relations? Clearly, you haven’t been following the byzantine freestyle campaign between the rap world’s hegemon, Jay-Z, and rising power The Game. Word-slinging MC’s are a great model for nations locked in high-stakes diplomacy, as explained by George Washington University professor Mark Lynch.
A website called sellyourgoldteeth.com; among rappers, a sudden interest in cubic zirconia; and an auction of storied hip-hop jewelery canceled for lack of potential buyers: the Wall Street Journalreports on how the recession is damaging bling culture. (Whatever happened to Roland Fryer‘s paper that was to be called “Bling-Bling”)
Economics and rapping wouldn’t seem to be the most natural bedfellows, but they keep showing up on this blog, including here and here. But this latest instance is probably also the best.