Wale on Jay-Z: “Greatest To Ever Do — Hands Down”

blame it on Shake September 30, 2013

Yesterday, Jay-Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life turned 15 years old (as did Outkast’s Aquemini for those keeping score at home) and XXL had Wale pen some thoughts.

Jay Z? Greatest to ever do it—hands down. No debate. If you debate you’re really just mad. You got some kinda inner joint, but he knows it though. I think that’s the greatest thing about knowing him is like, being around somebody who knows. It’s just like when Steve Young learned from Joe Montana.

I remember hearing it on PGC long ago. I think I was in middle school, eighth [grade] or something like that, and I remember listening to that joint, and I just remember “Hard Knock Life” being on the radio, and I was just like, “Yo, I’ve never heard anything like this ever.” Ever! Like, that hook [“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”], I didn’t even really know what it was saying, but that mothafucka was so cold, man.

I just think it was a different time. You can’t even really rate no more ’cause the scale have just went like that. That would be considered a backpack record right now. Process that. Like, that would be considered an outright backpack record. No street niggas would rap on that right now. Not one. That was his most selling album ’cause of that song! ’Cause niggas wasn’t buying singles, like a lot of mothafuckas was like, “I wanna hear the Annie song.” And the album—that album was dark. Money, cash, hoes and all that.

Interesting thoughts on Jay’s top-selling album. Let us know yours in the comments below!

  • MixedHippy253

    He made some points but idk maybe the whole Jay-Z thing was a bit before my time he just never caught my attention skills wise

  • brad stevens

    proofreading for the win

  • brad stevens

    Jay is crazy overrated tho. It really hit me when i heard that verse on Dream’s new album. I thought to myself “this is literally a verse that 2 chainz would come with.” last 5 or so years hes been extremely mediocre, ppl just wet their pants every verse because of the power of his name. Most of his oldies are classic tho

  • who cares

    LMFAO! That entire post had me in tears. 1) Jay is nowhere near the greatest of all time. That spot’s not reserved for sellouts who haven’t made a decent album in almost a decade. 2) Wale needs to learn how to talk. The gem that stood out the most to me, “You can’t even really rate no more ’cause the scale have just went like that.” Fucking dead…

  • Beard Gawd

    Nah. I can respect someone’s opinion if they think he’s the best but… skill-wise he really isn’t the GOAT.

  • biff tannen

    Marty Mcfly will rant in…..3…..2……1…..

  • Ch3e3st

    To me jay-z never made it to a point to grap my attention to be the greatest of all time UNLIKE andre 3000 he can lay a verse today and make you be like “damn I need to check his work this nigga nice” he’s flows now a days are not above average really need to dig to find his classic tracks I compare jay to wayne sellouts in the music industry

  • tew

    the ironic thing is the point that wale made as to why jay is the goat regarding hard knock life should all be credited to kanye. I think kanye is GOAT personally.

  • rwe

    @who cares your fake laughs and tear just come off as someone whose really just mad. as if it’s completely absurd that jay z is even a part of the discussion, even though literally every hip hop fan put jay in their top 3-5. but still it warrants cry of laughter because it’s just so absurd that jay z who the most successful hiphop artist all around would be considered the greatest of all time above guys like biggie that only released 2 albums and got that title. but jay z? soooo ridiculous i’m crying over here -__-

  • Kids jewce

    Jay is the GOAT hands down. Smh @ u niggas.

  • randy

    how did jay z sellout exactly? you hip hop old heads call any black man who exceeds your expectations a sellout.

  • greg focker

    my top 5

    1. jay z
    2. kanye
    3. 2pac

  • LA


    The GREATEST BITER of all time i mean of course!!!!

  • @LA

    oh my god, dude. That was so fucking witty

  • Deez…..Nuts Nigga

    every rapper in the history of hip-hop bit somebody else. Just like every producer in pretty much the history of music bit somebody else’s work. If you don’t think Jay is the greatest of all time who would you possibly put in that spot and to the nigga that sad Ye made the Hard Knock Life track do ya homework homie.


    If Jay-Z isn’t the best, then who is? Who’s had the most number 1 albums ever (excluding the Beatles, of course)? Who’s battled on wax with arguable one of the best emcees ever and WON (referring to Nas, and honestly, Jay won that all around. From the doors sample on Takeover to the ugly personal disses on the record itself)? Who’s been around for as long as he has and remained relevant? I don’t know how anybody would ever doubt his penmanship (although his newer work is a little off, but hey, even the great Cassius Clay lost a step towards the end of his illustrious career)? Who’s responsible for bringing the world Kanye, Cole, Riri, and other great artists we love today? Seriously.. This dude gave us records like “D’Evils” “Streets is Watching” “Lost Ones” “This Can’t Be Life” “Heart of the City”.. He’s given us (arguably) 4 classics: Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, The Black Album & American Gangster. Don’t even get me started on all of the classic singles he’s constructed also…. Seriously, if you don’t consider him the GOAT then I don’t know man. This IS 2DBZ so of course you guys would think somebody like Raekwon or Blackthought or Mos Def or some other super lyrical (I love all four of those emcees, by the way) rapper would be the best.. But when we talk about THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME, you have to consider E V E R Y T H I N G. Not JUST lyricism, although lyricism is one of the main aspects when measuring emcees. Jay is the greatest of all time, he’s personally not MY favorite rapper (Mos Def, Common & Joe Budden are for those that care) but even I can’t argue that statement……

    But like I said, you guys hate Drake but like weird rap like Danny Brown… *shrug* I hate you 2dopeboyz frequenters

  • LA

    ^^^ Why are you niggas acting like Jay only bit a few rappers! This man bit over a dozen Mcee’s

    JAY bit humpty hump!!! who the fuck bites humpty hump???? That’s you favorite rapper of all time???? GTFOH

  • cool guy

    Jay has lost his tenacity in the past 3 years yea, but American Gangster and his features around that time (Light Up, Shiny Suit Theory) shows that he still has lyrical ability. Also some flashes of wit on WTT and MCHG prove so. He is the GOAT because of his solo albums. Your favorite rappers alive or dead can’t top Reasonable Doubt, Vol.2, Blueprint and Black Album.

  • facts

    @billz, why cant you argue that statement? because people aren’t going to agree with you? I thought that’s what debates were for, voicing your opinion, not just voicing a popular opinion to be accepted. Anytime you use words like greatest and best, the argument becomes all opinionated. You can make arguments like, jay z sold this many records or has this number of number 1 singles but even saying that would be YOUR opinion on what makes a rapper the greatest. Plus some of the things you said as to why jay z is the best rapper doesn’t even involve rapping lol which brings me to believe the popular opinion of jay z being the greatest ever comes more from what he’s achieved with numbers as opposed to his actual skills. Because if you’re talking about skills the discussion opens ups a lot wider. Why would being the best rapper have anything to do with anything else other than rapping? lol Most SUCCESSFUL can be proven with numbers easily, who’s the best rapper is all opinion. And only an ignorant person(like wale) is going to say something like a greatest of all time debate is not debatable. If it weren’t debatable why are people debating so hard? lol

  • b

    jay z has done more for hip hop then any other mc, he has helped evolve the culture more then anyone else, his catalogue is the proof, you motherfukers just cant handle the truth, funny thing is almost every rapper looks up to jay z and says the same thing about him, and you have bunch of people on 2dopeboyz that know better? Theres other great rappers no doubt but you cant debate the fact that jay z has done more and achieved more and stayed on top.

  • Yeah I’m shaking my head at anyone who says Jay shouldn’t be in the GOAT discussion. He’s got one of the best deliveries, plus he knows how to actually make good songs. He’s the most successful rapper AND one of the few who’s respected by other genres. Most of you niggas just hate anything that’s popular. You’ll be a fan of an artist until they get airplay and then you’ll turn around and diss them.

  • MusicHead

    NAS THE GOAT. 1. Nas / Wayne 2. Biggie 3. Jay 4. Em 5. Pac…

    Kendrick will be the goat when it’s all said & done..

  • A.Holmes

    Jay is GOAT for one reason: consistency. End of discussion. Have a nice day.

  • MusicHead

    Nas the GOAT.. Read on..

    The first nigga to ever throw up the Roc sign ….Nas ..he’s the best MC EVER.. But the MOST SUCCESSFUL rapper is def Jay & that’s what ppl get confused.. Nas has influenced the masses..he got Ye, Em & others to want to rap AND got Jay sample his line & it wasn’t like Nas was a legend either he was just startin mainstream wise too.. And everyone wants to make the best rap album of all time.. Illmatic.. Jay is a legend with 3 classics, RD, BP, BLACK ALBUM, .. Nas, Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, Lost Tapes.. Now lets get into REAL DOPE ALBUMS..not classics tho. Jay: Hard Knock LifeVol2, Vol3, American Gangster, MCHG. Nas: I Am, I Am..the Autobiography, God’s Son, Nigger (Untitled), Life Is Good. Trash albums.. Jay: In my Lifetime Vol. 1, Kingdom Come, BP3. Nas: Nastradamus. Okay albums, Jay: BP2. Nas: Hip Hop Is Dead, Streets Disciple. Now Jay-Z is a great blend of a rapper & businessman & know how to market himself..but in terms artistic integrity, & lyrical skills & articulation & other stuff ..Nas got that.. Remember Jay still compromised & to get his money.. Also Wayne took torch from Jay in 04 (who had it for a lil but fighting w/ Nas) & Wayne had it undeniably sustained it until 2010 & literally dropped it off & let Drake pick it up & Drake been havin it for a min..but messed up takin off 2012..cuz Kdot dropped off GKMC..& been dominating the rest of that year & this year..if Drake doesn’t top or match Take Care..the next Kdot drop it’s OVER..he taken the torch..he already got his hand on the torch with Drake..get back at me.

  • MusicHead

    Nas the GOAT.. Read on..

    The first nigga to ever throw up the Roc sign ….Nas ..he’s the best MC EVER.. But the MOST SUCCESSFUL rapper is def Jay & that’s what ppl get confused.. Nas has influenced the masses..he got Ye, Em & others to want to rap AND got Jay sample his line & it wasn’t like Nas was a legend either he was just startin mainstream wise too.. And everyone wants to make the best rap album of all time.. Illmatic.. Jay is a legend with 3 classics, RD, BP, BLACK ALBUM, .. Nas, Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, Lost Tapes.. Now lets get into REAL DOPE ALBUMS..not classics tho. Jay: Hard Knock LifeVol2, Vol3, American Gangster, MCHG. Nas: I Am, I Am..the Autobiography, God’s Son, Nigger (Untitled), Life Is Good. Trash albums.. Jay: In my Lifetime Vol. 1, Kingdom Come, BP3. Nas: Nastradamus. Okay albums, Jay: BP2. Nas: Hip Hop Is Dead, Streets Disciple. Now Jay-Z is a great blend of a rapper & businessman & know how to market himself..but in terms artistic integrity, & lyrical skills & articulation & other stuff ..Nas got that.. Remember Jay still compromised & to get his money.. Also Wayne took torch from Jay in 04 (who had it for a lil but fighting w/ Nas) & Wayne had it undeniably sustained it until 2010 & literally dropped it off & let Drake pick it up & Drake been havin it for a min..but messed up takin off 2012..cuz Kdot dropped off GKMC..& been dominating the rest of that year & this year..if Drake doesn’t top or match Take Care..the next Kdot drop it’s OVER..he taken the torch..he already got his hand on the torch with Drake..get back at me. ..this is also something I wrote along time ago obviously now since NWTS wasn’t up there like Take Care..Kdot got it on lock.

  • malcyvelli

    jay z is an amazing rapper but he’s an aighttt emcee, it depends on what you deem more important that dictates jay’s status in the culture, he is the greatest RAPPER ever though

  • DQ


    Art in any capacity is and always will be SUBJECTIVE, there will never be a consensus decision in a debate about subjectivity. There can only be favorites based on ones personal preferences. This debate about “The best of all time” has been a topic of discussion since the 70’s and we still haven’t made any determinations as to who is truly the “Greatest Of All Time”. My favorite rapper is NAS, in my younger years I would have argued with you for days as to why I thought he was the “GOAT”. However, time has taught me that art has no true measuring stick, and that his music appealed to be because of my own personal tastes and preferences. It seems many of you in this thread feel that Jay-Z is the “GOAT” which is fine, we are all entitled to our own opinions; but like I said all art including Hip Hop is subjective. So for anyone to try and rationalize why someone is being irrational for not sharing their opinion is just ignorance


  • gregory kruxx.

    Jay’s the GOAT hands down…Hes the complete package…He comes from Hip Hops greatest era. He had the Last True Hip hop Battle that really was apart of the culture with Nas. He changed the game. The man still got bars yall just dont listen or really pickup on what hes saying… He may not be the greatest lyricist ever that probably goes to Nas…But Jay literally changed everything. He dropped an album every year from 96-03 and thats just solo shit and not even including streets is watching and all the other ventures in between.. He set trends in every way possible…Hard Knock is not one of my favorite albums but its the album that set Jay on the path to where he is today. He said it himself. For all you clowns dissing mainstream success and all this other shit your simpletons who will never get it…People can sit back and hate on Jay all day but no one on any of these blogs has accomplished what he has…The man was quite vicious wit dem bars when he wanted to be..go check Vol. 3…And all this shit about he aint made a good album in a decade…Please…. American Gangster was Krazy. Magna Carta brings me back to the BP days. Sure BP3 could have been better and Kingdom Come is probably his worst album, but yall dont like Watch the Throne…
    To quote the man…

    Music business hate me cause the industry ain’t make me
    Hustlers and boosters embrace me and the music I be making
    I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars
    They criticized me for it, yet they all yell “holla”

    That shit still holds true…Yall hate but sure are quick to make comments..sure are quick to get to those sold out shows he has everywhere..quick to hop on the blogs and comment…SMFH…

    Ask 8 out of 10 of your favorite rappers who there favorite rapper is who they feel the GOAT is and see what they say…I say this because I see way to many interviews from everyone from kdot to q to tip to whoever it maybe and they all say the same thing.

    Its always been Jay and Nas for me. I cant say 3Stacks cause solo wise he aint done nothing. And dnt get it twisted Outkast, Tribe and Wu are my alltime fav groups…

    BUT no matter who is in your list if Jay aint there…you really just have issues you cant admit to yourself..even if your really not a fan of his music like that. I put Eminem in my top 10 emcees ever. But truthfully. I dnt like any of his albums. MMLP slighlty thats it the rest…No thanks.

    Point is do your fukin homework and chek the resume…
    Bweing the GOAT means being the complete package..
    Shawn Carter personifies that in

  • gregory kruxx.

    (hit sent by accident) every way possible…You know this brotha Jay-Z, Shawn Carter…

    Hhahahahahahah ignorant ass niggahs!!!!

    No sympathy for the king huh….niggahs even talk about your baby krazy

  • MartyMackFlyy


  • marty mcfly

    Its some people out there that straight up hate Jayz and still say he’s the GOAT. You can say its opinion or subjective or based on this and that but if you just keep it real and say man fuck the bullshit just truthfully speaking and you know the history, hard work and consistency then youd have to agree that Jayz is the greatest to ever do it. Even has we speak at the moment, MCHG is one of the best hip hop albums this year and Jay didnt have to sing and R&B songs on it either. Has Jayz made some mistakes in his career artistically? Sure but so has any other MC you can name who’s in his area of comparison. You could hate everything about Jayz and just based on albums contributed to hip hop culture from 96 to now you’d have to see how Jay is the greatest to ever do it. I cant think of any other artists in hip hop who has maintained the same level of excellence for a longer period of time. Jay said he was one of the best in 1997 and there were some fans and some parts of the industry that cosigned that, well its now 2013 and its still one of the best and active doing it. The end of the year may come and I dont even wanna have to say MCHG is the best hip hop this year and im a fan of the nigga but its like I cant lie about the shit. Keep it real with yourselves. Jayz – GREATEST OF ALL TIME. Yes there are other greats and yes there are some that has done this or that better but you gotta be better then Jay across the board at everything he does in order to be better and that just hasn’t happened. Whats even more fucked up is ten years from now an R&B nigga named Drake may be the GOAT unless the so called lyrical niggas start making better records. Go listen to Most Kings the song version from Jay… COMEONSON who makes these kinda songs? and the nigga has hundreds of songs like that and they can all go bar for bar with all of hip hops classic records. You aint gotta argue with me but keep it real though who you know that has done it BETTER? And ACROSS THE BOARD in all areas of being an artist? I cant think of any

  • marty mcfly

    @MartyMackFlyy, I love KRS music and Nas music and id love to say that they done it better then Jayz as an artist but that would be a lie cause the fact is not only does Jay know how to make lyrical songs but he knows how to make radio songs and interesting radio songs at that. Hard Knock Life, Empire State, DOA, Holy Grail… I mean thats his version of radio songs and even those have messages and dope lyrics. You cant just be a lyrical miracle MC and think thats enough to say you better then Jayz. You also gotta be a beast on radio and in the clubs for at least a decade back to back and thats something that alot MCs just haven’t done.

  • MusicHead

    @martymcfly you’re a biased Jay fan..shut the fuck up.. WAYNE is more Goat than Jay & Nas the Goat. Read my first posts..if u wanna talk.

  • marty mcfly

    People saying Nas is the best? Ask them to spit a verse off Hip Hop Is Dead fro memory or ask them what the tracklisting is from The N album or ask them what they like best about Streets Disciple and they’ll probably give you some basic ass answer with no details about the project because they saying Nas is the greatest but they only know material from his most commercial albums. Now go ask a complete hater what the lyrics are from Roc Boys and I bet the probably know them word for word. Ask them about a Jay album even the ones they hate and they like something about it. Now if you saying Nas is the greatest but dont know any verses from him other then his albums from the 90s and you know more about Jay then Nas then maybe Jays material sits in a more memorable spot in your mind and that could be cause he’s the GOAT. You could say im a fan yes but again its some people out there that hate Jayz and think he’s the greatest just based on how many songs of his in the last 15 plus years had an impact.

  • marty mcfly

    I think if Jay never mentioned money in his songs and people could actually hear that alot of what he’s said is about life in general then there would be no question. Soon as you put in money and success then that knocks Jay outta the conversation of greatest in alot of peoples minds cause they cant see how an artist can be a rhyme about being rich as fuck and still be a lyricist at the same time and then you have people who say because Jay had commercial success then he cant be authentic at the same time. Its always something

  • GODr

    Mediocre rapper with lots of $$. Not even in the top half.

  • marty mcfly

    Outta the new school of MCs its a very small list that I think could every be as dope as the MCs from Jays era. I dont wanna hear the next Jay or Nas or Tupac etc… cause the game gotta evolve and im ok with the more friendly raps these days but as far as lyricism goes? I think alot of MCs is just trying really hard to be like Drake or compete in Drakes lane instead of trying to be completely different from what Drake is doing. Its like if Walt Disney had a hip hop label then the MCs rapping today would be his artists. Drake made the Wu Tang Forever song but its like nobody from this new era of MCs heard that album or took something from it lyrically including Drake. Wale rating Jayz but I hope he comes out with something a little better on his next album.

  • marty mcfly

    Wale’s Golden Salvation song and video is dope though but just saying… Other then MCHG and probably the My Name Is My Name album and the Lord Steppington album later this year and maybe a couple others, hip Hop has been really watered down this year.

  • realtalk™

    MCHG and MNIMN suck ass too.. hip hop is dead again

  • realtalk™

    “If you debate you’re really just mad.”

    Stopped reading after that.

  • B

    i dont know why people try and compare rappers like krs one, rakim etc etc and say they are goat dont get me wrong they are legends forever, but when you say g.o.a.t it means the whole package, and jay got that simple as that man. you cannot argue with that. albums, sales, popularity, music, progress, beyonce, business man, still going platinum. if you still think someone else is the g.o.a.t then you lying to yourself.

  • the realest

    “If you debate you’re really just mad.”
    Stopped reading after that.

    realtalk™ said this on October 1st, 2013 at 3:17 am

    ^ lmao

  • facts

    lol its a debate on who’s the greatest rapper and people are literally throwing in the fact that jay-z has beyonce and is a good business man. This isn’t a once in a while thing either, people who debate that jay-z is the best rapper often use arguments that have nothing to do with rap. Clearly sheep that worship anybody who achieves the most success as if it benefits them in some kind of way.

  • marty mcfly

    @realtalk, if you think hip hop is dead again then Jayz and Pusha are two MCs that definitely aint to blame for its death. MCHG has some of the best songs out this year (Picasso, Fuckwitme, FUTW, Crown, Oceans…) and Pusha put out a hand full of straight crack off MNIMN (Numbers On The Board, King Push, Nosetalgia, Serenade, Pain) this year. I saw the video for Versace today and according to the fans thats the hottest shit out these days. Neither Jay or Pusha is to blame for such foolishness.

  • facts

    @b, 2 of the criteria you used aren’t rap skill related, and half of the ones that are can be debated in Eminem’s favor so I don’t know where you jay-z stans are getting the idea that this is literally not debatable lol

  • marty mcfly

    @facts, my opinion that Jay is the GOAT is purely based on lyrical ability. He literal has delivered some of the dopest punchlines, metaphors, double entendres, etc… thats ever been heard in hop hop and line for line he has more then tripled the amount of memorable songs then most MCs in hip hop. Id say almost every fan of hip hop within that last decade can probably name an albums worth of songs from Jayz where that know every punchline. My opinion is based purely on lyricism and I cant think of any MC in hip hop history with more quotables then Jayz.

  • Dre

    As far as Im concerned Jay isnt so much a sellout as he is just plain old, naturally his rhymes are gonna be more charisma then substance which is frustrating but I aint surprised. Look at some of the other legends like Em and Snoop they definetly have gone downhill too but just like athletes they outta their prime. Jay is definetly in the discussion cuz even if he made some wack albums like pretty much everything post blueprint 3, the dude made classics like the Hard Knock series, The Blueprint, The Black Album and Reasonable Doubt. Go back to these albums and he was mos def a lyricist from the late 80s-the mid 2000s thats a long enough run imo to qualify him for greatest rapper of all time

  • marty mcfly

    There is no way Em has matched or passed Jay when it comes to dope lines. Em has sold more records then Jay because obviously he’s on a higher level of mainstream pop exposure then Jay but has for bars? Its no way Em has delivered more or better lines. Keeping in mind that alot of Jayz punches or double entendres so that double the meaning in many of his lines. There are other MCs who also use this technique and Em is not one of them. There are members of Wu Tang who bar for bar have out rhymed Em. There are MCs from the 90s that never really crossed over but stayed consistent and have put out more dope lines then Em.

  • GODr

    Ain’t no best, most of y’all don’t even search out your music. That’s why we hear the same old shit in the mainstream. Monotonous material fed to you by the big record labels. Selling death and titties. What is mainstream hip hop without references to money or dope? Jay z had a few good albums and a bunch of mediocre albums. There are some great rappers out there. Anyone who thinks Jay Z is the greatest emcee doesn’t understand hip hop.

  • facts

    @marty, I wasn’t referring to you when I said that, I was referring to most of the people who say jayz is the best, just look at the comments, a bunch of debates that have nothing to do with actually rapping. But I’m not going to go back and forth with you about who’s better out of jay and em because you’re clearly bias and you’re marty mcfly, you debate jay z being the best for a living lol but the greatest of all time is interchangeable between jay em and nas to me, and there is clear winner between the 3. Its all debatable, stop trying to force your opinions down everybodies throat

  • facts

    there is no clear winner*

  • marty mcfly

    @facts, you could pretend that I hate Jayz and think he’s wack and that still wouldn’t change or erase his material thus far. If you are a fan of…

    Ghostface Killah
    Method Man ( who btw is on of the illest ever bar wise)
    Black Thought
    The Game
    50 Cent (yes I consider 50 as one who has dope lyrics)
    Andre 3000
    Mos Def
    Beanie Sigel
    Busta Rhymes

    Just know you gotta pick an MC who has got clear passed all these MCs when it comes to wordplay before you can even speak on where Jay is at lyrically and that in itself is something only a very small hand full of artist can say they’ve done. Lyrical ability is something that can be calculated but for the most part it will fall back onto consistency and thats where Jay will start to pull ahead and not only with that but the fact that he also is lyrical and maintains a very high level of lyricism.

  • marty mcfly

    And then there’s the army of less famous more underground MCs (vets included) with super lyrical ability but Jay has delivered passed 99% of them as well.

  • godr


  • dope

    ^^but he lacks creativity and substance half the time so that would pull him back from that imaginary lead he has on other great rappers and is what makes it debatable. I think jay is literally ahead of everybody you named besides lupe, but as far as creativity nas and em are superior and as far as substance nas is superior.

  • GODr

    Kanye and 50 Cent? Come on buddy.

  • GODr

    Lasers was so good…

  • marty mcfly

    When you get passed most of the opinions and history of MCs you gonna get down to three people when it comes to greatest ever. Like I have said before and like someone else said earlier its always gonna come down to three people (imo) and based on lyricism it comes down to Jay, Nas and KRS for the greatest anything after that you gotta go with a hip hop legend for comparison. After going back n forth about lyrics it will come down to ok who got shit for radio and right there is where Jay will be out any argument on Nas or KRS behalf. Making songs like that is also an artform in itself based on merging the right beat with the right hook with the right topic and Jay has done that right more times commercially then any other MC. Period, you dont have to agree with me but just saying.

  • dope

    ^^by reading your comments I would think it was mandatory to agree with you, but thanks for clearing that up.

  • marty mcfly

    @GODr, yeah I gotta throw Kanye and 50 in there cause thats just real. Kanye has classics that contain some of the illest lyrics in hip hop and same with 50. 50 is underrated as an MC but anything before the Curtis album and that nigga was rhyming his ass off. Go listen to Power of A Dollar, Guess Whos Back, a shit load of mixtape verses and GRODT again. Lyrically he was saying some shit and that went on for about 4 years straight so yeah he gotta be in the conversation.

  • marty mcfly

    @dope, no you dont have to agree with me. There are other MCs that I could’ve brought up with very solid discographys but at the end of the day it will lead back to the same few MCs. Now people can put Em in the convo if they want and thats fine but id just say that Jay was already on a roll lyrically before and after Em and thats gotta count for something. Jays rhymes aint abc 123 homie, he got bars too.

  • GODr

    I’ve never experienced lyricism from Kanye nor 50 Cent. Reasonable Doubt was great in its entirety. After In My Lifetime 2, his catalog was predictable. Same recycled stories of dope selling, money making and being “the greatest”. Not seeing the creativity. Definitely not the best in my opinion. Not even one of my favorites.

  • EarlStevens

    Wale want jay z dihh

  • SforMusic

    To be considered “Greatest of All Time” You cant look at Lyricism alone. You have to turn a subjective topic to an objective topic. Anyone can say that any rapper is the “Greatest of All Time” if it was lyrics alone, some can even bullshit and say their next door neighbour is the Greatest Rapper of All Time cos he got lyrics. You have to look at the bigger picture Lyrics, Albums Sales, Influence, Consistency, Contribution to the culture (don’t forget mainstream appeal as much you “hip-hop” heads love to hate on mainstream it is pretty important) and obviously Jay Z has most aspects covered compared to a lot of rappers (even your favourite ones) if anything all. The fact that he is over 40, still rapping, still relevant and still able to make a platinum album is an obvious testament to his legacy. No one is truly doing this. I think ppl on here like deny Jay’s legacy and success out of pure hate and try to pick and choose certain criteria and in 2013 certain opinions don’t have much weight on obvious facts !

  • GODr

    Popularity isn’t in my judgement for a good emcee. This is considering the shallowness and ignorance of of the vast majority.

  • marty mcfly

    Yeah you never heard lyricism from Kanye or 50 and you had something to say about Lupe as well but the lyricism is there. If you havent heard it then thats cool but you can go back. If you say 50 is a lyricist yeah so people will be like what? But go back to the time between 2000 and 2004, now you think if 50 couldn’t rap he would have done all that? You take 21 questions, yeah it might be cheesy but there is a song writing quality there based on the questions in the song. Then you take a song like Baltimore Love Thing or In My Hood off the Massacre and there is a concepts there also which involve lyricism. No my opinion wasn’t that 50 cent should be in the conversation of the greatest lyrically per say but what I was saying is you cant pick an artists to compare to Jayz if they aint even got better records then 50 Cent and from Ghetto Quran to Ski Mask Way 50 did put some dope lyrics together. You could point out shit from Kanye and Lupe as well but in order to really claim GOAT status it gotta be a hip hop legend and most of these rappers aint even get passed the 50s, or the Kanye’s yet.

  • GODr

    Well, we definitely know what your criteria is for GOAT. For me there is no GOAT. I’ve had favorite emcees that have changed over the years. I would consider hip hop my favorite genre of music and I have actively search out hip hop that I like for about 25 years now. I’m just saying, being rich and peddling dope is very average and Jay doesn’t rap about anything else.

  • marty mcfly

    And you can stop bringing up Reasonable Doubt cause Jay has got so far passed that it shouldn’t even be brought up as a reason why anymore. Yes is was a great album well guess what? Jay has others. We dont even have to talk Jayz drom the 90s and he still would have enough material for greatest. Again people dont have to agree with me but just saying

  • GODr

    I brought it because it was the only album that I really enjoyed by the guy. I can only listen to a guy suck his own dick so much. It really isn’t a good look.

  • marty mcfly

    @GODr ok you could say there is no GOAT and you could say that Jay has only rapped about two subjects (money and drugs) for almost 20 years. I would say that is a very easy way to look at things cause all you have to do is regard Jayz as some kinda basic rapper that hasn’t said shit. For those that wanna try and figure out who the greatest is id say got listen to all the classic and go listen to all the great lyricist but when its all said and down from the year 1996 to now there is one name in particular that seems to pop up consistently with some of the hottest records in hip hop and once when you get his album you find things thats not about money and drugs if your willing to listen. Jayz Blue on MCHG is not about money or drugs for example.

  • marty mcfly

    For those that wanna try and figure out who the greatest is id say go listen to all the classicS and go listen to all the great lyricist but when its all said and done…

  • GODr

    I’ll stick with the Reasonable Doubt if I want to listen to Jay. I’ve been on a drum n bass kick anyway.

  • adi Pre

    Wale’s hunned percent right, Jay’s Music/Business brain mixed with his longevity and consistency has made him the G.O.A.T No two ways about it.

  • There is no one great, it’s more like a group of greats

  • Mike Tomlin

    1. Pac
    2. Nas
    3. Jay
    4. Em
    5. BIG

    Im cool with ppl stating their opinions, and Wale a big Wale fan seeing as Im from the DMV, but nothing pisses me off more than when someone gives their OPINION then says “hands down no debate Im right.” Umm, there is no right. Everything besides sales is a matter of opinion and Eminem will dominate sales forever.

  • Correction……. I slept with Katie too

    Its hard to convince the younger generation of Jay Z’s greatness. Right now, what we hear from him is a shell of his former self. I guess you had to be in that timeframe (96-03) to truly appreciate it. Not to mention you have to have a certain mental maturity level, and sense to dissect some of Jay’s words. Is he the greatest in my opinion, No. However, definitely top 5.

  • marty mcfly

    Right now, what we hear from him is a shell of his former self…. What? Recently he won a grammy for No Church and then put out MCHG with songs like Oceans, Heaven, FUTW, Somewhereinamerica, Nickels And Dimes… Dude put out a video for Picasso Baby and that song and video as dope and in the process of Kanye’s many outbursts with the media, Jay puts out Holy Grail and pretty much puts that whole issue in perspective and its just an iconic sounding song. COMEONSON who else is making these kinda songs right now? Fools is either too young to understand or still stuck in 96 with Reasonable Doubt cause Jay is still on point lyrically.

  • wr

    I agree with most of the above comment. Ain’t no best, but he’s among the very best despite now almost 8 years of tarnishing his musical legacy (this is not a debatable point: Kingdom Come-MCHG, no one knows one verse that’s not on a single, 0 quotes, he probably doesn’t even remember most of them). I agree with the “you had to be there” sentiment. He was a different entity pre-first retirement. Plenty of rappers I personally like more and feel are better all-around. His classic album number is inflated by dickriders (I count two, still better than most, if you can’t name them not my problem). It’s easier to call him the “greatest” if you are not burdened by a frame of reference I suppose, I would put Rakim, KRS, BIG (always and forever more), Nas (yeah no shit), Pharoahe Monch (the ignorant will disagree), Facemob (ditto), Ice Cube, Mos Def, 3 Stacks, Redman, Ghostface, Common just to start and that’s off top. These little wanna-be moguls always want to say he’s the greatest cuz of power moves, but that has nothing to do with his records..we start comparing catalogs and I just don’t see the GOAT. It’s just an easy thing for people to say, but if you know your shit you know its not as cut and dry. Not that I won’t listen to the argument, but your points of comparison probably need some work.

  • wr

    If you think Jay now is on the level lyrically with Jay pre-retirement I have a beach house in Arizona to sell you.

  • wr

    And if you think an example of him maintaining his lyricism is a Grammy win you should probably just stop having opinions about hip hop related things.

  • marty mcfly

    My point about his Grammy is it was for No Church, now what are the lyrics to that song? We’re talking being lyrical right? OK Jay – Tears on the mausoleum floor
    Blood stains the Colosseum doors
    Lies on the lips of a priest
    Thanksgiving disguised as a feast… Come on now. You talking about Jays lyrical ability post retirement? There is a very long list of lyrical songs Jay has put out since that time that I dont think any MC in his area of comparison could match.

  • wr

    Let me put it this way: you say Jay is the greatest, you post your top 10 and it doesn’t have Cube or Rakim Allah in it, I just can’t really take you that seriously that you know what the fuck it is you’re talking about. They probably not even in ya top 20 cuz you never heard the fucking records! OK old man rant over.

  • wr

    I don’t see what is so amazing about those bars, compared to like, Where I’m From. He trying to sound majestic I’ll give him that, but its meaningless.

  • marty mcfly

    You talking about Scarface, Biggie, Rakim, Mos Def, Ice Cube (who is #3 in my top 5 btw), Common etc… which I agree are all greats but if we gonna talk lyrical ability Jay got lines that could go up against any of these MCs AND has plenty more to go… They cant win a lyrical debate with Jay because of two reasons? Double entendres and lyrical context. Jay is gonna drop several lines in on song that all have some dope points and add on to the lines before and after them. Those other MCs can do it to but Jay has done it more and has done it better. Now if your talking Nas then yeah there is alot of room for Nas to be considered the greatest based on lyrics but as far as like Redman vs Jayz? Its like stop it, you know Jay won that debate.

  • WTF is Wale Talking Bout?

    This is blasphemy, Jay is a great rapper but the G.O.A.T? Haha Wale need to chill with that shit, just because the nigga manages you doesn’t neccesarily mean you will get brownie points for ass kissing. I mean c’mon, Jay is the product of the King of Brooklyn(New York) Biggie and he used to open up for Big Daddy Kane. He bites the hell out of Big every album and when asked about it he says he wants to keep his legacy alive. I don’t know how to feel about that considering the fact niggas know BIG whether or not Jay does it and it leads me to ask: Then why doesn’t Snoop and Dre do the same for Pac?
    Secondly Jay and Puffy are two of the most successful dudes in the genre of hip hop but that does not make them the G.O.A.T. if we look at Bars or the catalog. Jay has two decades of qantity in catalog but substance is not in EVERY SONG, the majority yes, but IN ALL OF THEM, N0. We tend to leave out niggas such as Nas, 3 Stacks, Em, Talib and even Ye, because of Jay longetivity, but that bullshit. The only thing I can say without a doubt about Jay is that this motherfucker has the illest production albums in history with Pharrell, Timbaland, Just Blaze, Dre and Ye to name a few. But I completely disagree and this is coming from a dude that has everyone albums that I named including Jay.

    b.Big L
    d.and Lauryn Hill
    (Nigga this is the throne right here) Ain’t no One Goat, this right here is it. Everything else is bullshit.

    P.S. College Dropout is the best Hip Hop album ever and niggas be sleeping on Ye but we all know that nigga got bars as well.

  • Correction…. I slept with Katie too.

    Sorry McFly, but Jay’s current style and lyrics dont move me the way they used to. They seem to be ‘soul-less’. He’s a machine now, simply doing it because he can. Stiill doesnt lessen my respect of him, I just dont check for him like I did 10-12 years ago. And no, that doesnt mean Im stuck in that era, but personally, this time was his peak. Its ok, it happens to all the greats. They deteriorate with age.

  • Correction…… I slept with Katie too.

    Honestly, ‘deteriorate’ was the wrong word. However, I feel like he’s just trying to keep up with whats selling at the moment.

  • marty mcfly

    If you dont like his music now does that mean he’s not the greatest? NO. Now you can use BIG against Jay but I feel if we’re being honest then you know that based on BIG dying in 97 its not way to have a real debate because how can BIG compete with a whole career from Jay and be dead at the same time? Two classic albums is just not enough material and I love BIG but it is what it is. People wanna use Andre 3 stacks but its like come on now, you saying that a decade of not being consistent is a good way to compete with Jayz? You wanna put the Love Below album up against Jayz whole catalogue? That dont make sense. Outkast is a group, Jayz is not so if you compare Andre alone against Jayz its no way he can win. You could list everything you dont like about Jay and everything you do like about everybody else and that still dont mean he aint the greatest. Its like people will say Nas is better then Common right? Well who has better metaphors? better punchlines between the two? Who uses cliche phrases in rhymes better then Method Man? Who has better concepts then Nas and Ice Cube? Who has better historical reference points then KRS? I mean we can go on and on but once you get down to OVERALL who has a better holding on all the different kinda wordplay? You wanna talk substance? Homie thats an area where Jay will always be one of the best in. Example go listen to American Gangster and realize thats just one huge concept from front to back, how much substance is in that alone?

  • nasa


    “That would be considered a backpack record right now. Process that. Like, that would be considered an outright backpack record. No street niggas would rap on that right now. Not one. That was his most selling album ’cause of that song!”

    WTF are you talking about “backpack record” ??? has Wale not heard every one of jays albums post hark knock life? because they all have records with that sound. same with nas

    wale is a sell out. thats why he abandoned the gogo sound. and thats why his music is disingenuous and will never be spoken about in any goat conversation ever.

    these are the enemies of art… they put labels on ppl and music and dismiss them into their compartments.

    ………anyways……. back to your endless debate

  • marty mcfly

    Look at the people you use to compare to Jayz? Pac, there is no way Jay and Pac have ever competed in hip hop. BIG, and Big L, Jay cannot compete against MCs that not even alive because Jays career has been moving and evolving where he cant always be held to the musical standards of the mid 90s. Outkast? Again thats is two people, Jay is a solo artist. Lauryn Hill? Jay has no R&B songs to compete with because Jay dont sing and also you cant compare Jays whole career to one solo album from Lauryn because Jay got to many songs and again in the musical sense you cant even compare him as a singer to Lauryn because Jay dont sing. Look at the artists used against Jayz. COMEONSON

  • marty mcfly

    Oh I take that back, Pac and Jay did compete in hip hop for three months. Reasonable Doubt came out in june 1996 and Pac died in Sept 1996. Thats two small of a time period for an honest comparison with Jayz.

  • ctcforthepeople

    not up for debate. you’re a hoe if you think anyone other than Jay is the GOAT. no need to discuss it further.

  • jorgey

    malcyvelli said it best

    jay-z is the GOAT because of all the components that make an artist
    nas is the greatest lyricist because of his sheer success based only off his lyrical capabiity…other than that there isn’t much that nas has for the argument…ok he has the greatest rap album ever…which on a worldy exposure (talking about the normal popultion of the entire world) is only sacred to hiphop. Other than that Nas doesnt make songs that the world wants to hear, he makes verses that show the capability of a lyricist but to be an artist you must combine lyrics, with the rest of the song (hooks, quotables, picking beats, etc.) and the only thing that Nas has over anyone is lyrics…thats it. No one across the world wants to recite anything but “one mic”, oochie wally, if i ruled the world, and hate me now”
    Jay-Z on the other hand presents lyrics and the entire song to the world that makes the world want to recite (99 problems, hard knock life, niggaz in paris, PSA, big pimpin, i just wanna love ya, tom ford, you dont know, and i could go on) he is the perfect balance of lyrically substance and song creator which makes him the GOAT…if you say Nas is the best then it’s like saying wilt is the best and jordan isnt…ye wilt scored a billion points, but look who he was playing against, how many rings did he have because of his direct production, etc.
    Jay-Z can rap of various types of beats, while Nas has a more boom bap only (of course give or take) with maybe 3 flow capabilities (of course he kills it but he is not as diverse in his presentation while still entertaining or still rhyming like jay-z)

  • Truth

    Lets just get one thing straight for all you jayz groupies and 2dopeboyz post whores…Jay wouldn’t be half the artist he is today is it wasn’t for Biggie’s passing in the late 90s.

    However one thing I will say about Jay is that he is an artist that knows how to stay rellevant in mainstream and we all know very few if any at all know how to do that. wether that be collabing musically with other artists, brands, buisnesses and ect ect…no doubt the man is about his money and is very creative on how he accumulates it.

  • yabishhhhh

    Nas over Jay any day… anyone who says Jay won that battle is retarded… Eminem over Jay as well.
    honestly im not sure if Jay is in my top 5.

  • holup

    Tupac is the greatest, and has done more for hiphop then jay z in his short amount of time on this earth. the nigga pac dissed Jay dissed Nas dissed biggie dissed mobb deep and after he past they all were throwing up they 2’s at their shows to pay homage… you know your the best when the mother fuckers your dissing is showing you respect like that….

  • marty mcfly

    I pooped my pants